The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB on Monday dispelled a report that went viral that a snake swallowed N36 million belonging to the board in one of its numerous offices.
The Board in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Franklin Benjamin said it was a pure case of criminality and fraud by one of its staff.
The report had it that a mystery snake sneaked into the accounts office of the board in Makurdi, Benue state and swallowed N36 million cash belonging JAMB.
The development occurred when a team of auditors dispatched by JAMB to take inventory of sold and unsold scratch cards and recover 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. The report read;
“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”.
Speaking on the fraud, Benjamin said; “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.”