This is what happened when JAMB staff was quizzed by investigators

The woman who said snake swallowed N36million doubled down on her story. Here's what she said.

The money was proceeds of scratch cards sold by the examination body.

Chieshe works from the Makurdi, Benue office of JAMB.

When snakes eat money

“It was a mystery to me too. I have been saving the money in the bank, but I found it difficult to account for it”, she had told a team of auditors who asked her where the money went.

"So I started saving it in a vault in the office. But each time I open the vault, I will find nothing. I became worried and surprised how the millions of Naira could be disappearing from the vault.

"I began to interrogate everybody in the house and office, and no one could agree on what might have happened to the money. I continued to press until my housemaid confessed.

"She said that the money disappeared spiritually. She said that a mysterious snake sneaked into the house and swallowed the money in the vault."

Disciplinary panel

Fabian Benjamin who is spokesperson of JAMB, disclosed that Mrs. Chieshe was going to face an internal disciplinary panel before being handed over to law enforcement.

Benjamin also vowed that no money swallowing snake will be spared.

“What we're doing is to ensure that we stem corruption, that any "snake" that is in the vault misappropriating public funds, swallowing, or whatever, will not be spared.

"What brought this up was the determination of the present administration, led by Professor Oloyede, to ensure that the board is clean of any acts of infraction, misappropriation, or by whatever name it is called.

"At the moment, she's been queried, appeared before a disciplinary committee, interdicted and is under close watch.

"Once we get the final approval, she'll be handed over to security agency and the necessary process will be taken to recover the money”, Benjamin had vowed.

Panel

When an ashen faced Mrs. Chieshe appeared before a panel probing the disappearance of the money, she doubled down on her snake story.

“Where’s our thirty six million?” a member of the panel asked Chieshe after she was introduced as the famous lady from Makurdi.

“Sir, it’s mysterious o”, Chieshe answered, unflustered.

“You are a thief!” the panelist declared.

Prayers and snakes

With everyone on the panel asking for more, Chieshe repeated her now viral story.

“Whenever I’m taking money to the bank, I am not able to account for what I got.

“Not until my house-help fell down and confessed in Jos when prayers started and she said a lot of things.

“That she is the one responsible for what is happening to me at the office. That there is a snake that comes mysteriously whenever I open the safe and takes the cash.

“Mysteriously, nothing was amounting to what I was having”, Chieshe said.

The panelists laughed in disbelief; interrupting the session with “snake, snake….cash or card?”

Chieshe nodded to say she actually meant “cash”.

“Go this way, because I’m going to hand you over to the police immediately”, the head panelist said.

An era of snakes

JAMB has been conducting audits round the country as a way of ushering a regime of transparency and accountability in its operations.

According to Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, in 2017, JAMB remitted N5bn to government coffers with a promise to pay the balance of N3bn.

However, JAMB remitted only N3million annually to the federation account in the preceding 40 years.

Maybe the snakes were to blame for the shortfall.

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