The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board on Sunday announced the suspension of its employee, Philomina Chieshe, over the N36m which was reported to have been swallowed by a snake in the board’s office in Makurdi, Benue State.
This was disclosed by JAMB Head of Information, Fabian Benjamin, who told Punch Sunday 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,” Benjamin said.
In a rather shocking turn, Chieshe had explained that a “mystery snake” sneaked into JAMB accounts office and made away with the N36m cash gathered from the purchases of scratch cards from JAMB state offices and other designated centres.
While addressing 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, Chieshe said she could not account for N36m made in the previous years before the abolition of scratch cards.
But in the course of interrogation, Chieshe changed the narrative, 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.
The investigation follows a recommendation that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission looked into the matter following a recommendation by the Federal Executive Council late last year that JAMB should be investigated.
This comes after the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun 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.