THE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has reacted to a report that went viral a few days ago about a mysterious snake that swallowed N36 million belonging to the board.
Sun Online had over the weekend reported how a mysterious snake was said to have sneaked into the accounts office of the board in Markurdi, Benue state and swallowed N36 million cash belonging JAMB.
This development occurred when a team of auditors dispatched by JAMB to take inventory of sold and unsold scratch cards and recover any funds generated or embezzled during sales periods.
JAMB candidates usually purchase scratch cards to gain access to the board’s website for either registration or for checking their admission status but that has been stopped by the registrar, Ishaq Oloyede.
“A sales clerk, Philomina Chieshe, told JAMB registrar and his team that she could not account for N36 million she made in previous years before the abolition of scratch cards.
“In the course of interrogation, Philomena denied the allegations that she stole the money but confessed that her housemaid connived with another JAMB staff, Joan Asen, to “spiritually” (through a snake) steal the money from the vault in the account office,” the report said.
Franklin Benjamin, the board’s spokesman, said it was a pure case of criminality and fraud by one of its staff.
“It is natural for the office to account for what they have after the sale of scratch cards has been stopped and we discovered that lots of money was missing in Markurdi and other offices.
“There are procedures in the civil service so the whole thing is still under investigation. She was queried, she appeared before disciplinary committee, although she confessed that money was missing and a snake swallowed it. Unfortunately, she is calling one Joan’s name which did not appear in the investigation at all. Joan only recommended a house help for her.
“Of course, the management did not believe the story. She is just trying to put an excuse forward. These are things the registrar is trying to unravel to put the board on the right footing. We had a case where one of the staff said he had an accident on his way and the scratch cards got burnt but only for us to discover that they were used because they all had serial numbers,” he said.