JAMB Money, Mystery Snake and Story Teller

By Eric Elezuo

Most people are still laughing their hearts out over a testimony given by one Philomena Chieshe, an employee of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) over unaccounted N36 million  that suddenly disappeared from the coffers of the agency.

Chieshe had told a team of auditors dispatched to different state offices of JAMB to take inventory of sold and unsold scratch cards and recover the generated money that a “mystery snake” sneaked into JAMB accounts office in Makurdi, Benue State, and made away with the N36m cash.

In a swift reaction, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board had ordered that  Philomina Chieshe proceeds on indefinite suspension on account of the N36m which was reported to have been swallowed by a snake in the board’s office .

The JAMB Head of Information, Fabian Benjamin, disclosed that the board was taking her through other disciplinary measures while security agencies were investigating the matter.

“She has been suspended and she is going through all other disciplinary procedures while investigation is ongoing on the matter. Her claim was that a snake came into the office and swallowed the N36m proceeds.”

The woman reportedly told the team that she could not account for N36m made in the previous years before the abolition of scratch cards, claiming that a snake swallowed the huge sum of money from the office of the agency.

But Chieshe changed her narrative while under interrogation, saying that it was her housemaid who connived with another woman, Joan Asen, to “spiritually steal the money” from the vault in the accounts office.

Meanwhile, Punch reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had begun investigation into the matter following a recommendation by the Federal Executive Council late last year that JAMB should be investigated.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who briefed council about the performances of some government agencies last year had said JAMB for the first time remitted N5bn to the government’s coffers with a promise to pay the balance of N3bn compared to maximum N3m remitted yearly in the last 40 years.

Adeosun had said the disparity in the remittances of agency in the past had necessitated the decision to probe all previous heads of the two agencies.

The discrepancy associated with the employee’s narratives is a sign of the rot that had engulfed the agency in the last 40 years where an estimated sum of N120 million was recovered as against N5 billion that was remitted in one year.

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Author: Eric Eric