EFCC arraigns woman who blamed snake for JAMB’s missing N35 million

EFCC operative used to illustrate the story
EFCC operative used to illustrate the story

An official of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Philomina Chieshe, in Makurdi, Benue State, is to be arraigned in court on Friday.

Ms Chieshe had claimed that a snake ‘swallowed’ N35 million, belonging to the agency, in her custody,

The official was dragged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). She will be arraigned alongside five others: Samuel Umoru, Yakubu Jekada, Daniel Agbo, Priscilla Ogunsola, and Aliyu Yakubu before Justice Peter Afen of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Abuja.

A statement by the EFCC spokesperson, Tony Orilade, said Ms Chieshe ”became notorious when she made an outlandish claim that a mysterious snake swallowed about N35million cash arising from the sale of e-JAMB cards in the state.”

He said, the woman is being prosecuted on an eight-count charge, following her refusal to furnish the management of JAMB the ”true information on the financial status of JAMB e-cards supplied to the Benue Zonal office between 2014 and 2016.”

He said her action runs contrary to Section 139 (a) of the Penal Code Law.

Background

PREMIUM TIMES reported how a mystery snake was said to have sneaked into the accounts office of the Board in Makurdi and ‘stolen’ N36 million cash.

The report which was first published by Saturday Sun, said a team of auditors was dispatched to different state offices of JAMB to take inventory of the sold and unsold scratch cards and recover whatever money that might have either been generated or mismanaged during the period of the sale.

JAMB candidates usually purchase scratch cards to gain access to the board’s website for either registration or for checking their admission status. But new reforms introduced by JAMB registrar, Ishaq Oloyede, who assumed office in 2016, ended the use of scratch cards, replacing it with more efficient and effective platforms.

“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 accounting office,” the report had said.

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