A suspicious story has emerged from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, (JAMB) in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. A mysterious snake allegedly snuck into the accounts office of JAMB, and escaped with N36 million cash.
The JAMB office initially sold scratch cards from their offices and other designated centers, which students would use to login to the Board’s website for registration or checking admission status. However new reforms by JAMB registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, ended the use of scratch cards.
A team of auditors was hired and sent to different state offices of JAMB to take stock of the sold and unsold scratch cards. Their secondary duty was to obtain monies that were made or mismanaged during the period of the sale of scratch cards.
Philomina Chieshe, a sales clerk in the Makurdi office of JAMB, told the JAMB registrar and his team upon arrival that she did not know where the N36 million she made in previous years had gone.
During interrogation, Philomena yielded the information that her housemaid conniving with Joan Asen, a JAMB staff, had “spiritually” stolen the money from the vault in the accounts office.
“I was one of the four sales clerks attached to JAMB office in Makurdi. My responsibility was to sell scratch cards to candidates and was not involved in handling the revenues. It was the responsibility of Joan Asen and my other senior colleagues. I only remit money when i’m done selling the cards.
“A few months ago, there was issue of fraud in the Makurdi office. Auditors were sent from Abuja to carefully flip the record books of the office, to perhaps, ascertain the current state of affairs.
“The state Coordinator, Obilo, was not around when the audit team came. But in the course of the audit, N36 million was discovered to have been missing from the account. An investigation was launched. In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Joan Asen, who is account staff and a lady outside JAMB have connived to steal the money.”
Philomina confessed in a statement that Joan Asen and her accomplices confessed they had been stealing the money through the use of a “spiritual” snake that would slither into the office and swallow the money from the vault before slithering out.
“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. 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.”