Less than a week after a mystery snake reportedly swallowed the sum of N36million realized from sale of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) scratch cards by the examination body’s sales clerk in Benue state, Philomena Chieshe, another fraud of N26m has been uncovered in its Nasarawa state office.
The man at the centre of the latest fraud, Labaran Tanko, a former Nasarawa state Coordinator of JAMB had allegedly embezzled the money he generated from the sale of scratch cards before the use of cards by candidates to either gain access to JAMB website for registration or other services, was banned in 2016.
Head, Media Unit of JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, said in Abuja, Tuesday that the ex-state coordinator has apologized to the JAMB audit team vetting the examination board’s financial books for his inability to account for the money for unknown reasons.
Ripples Nigeria authoritatively gathered that the officer, in his confessional statement claimed that the unsold scratch cards got burnt when he was involved in a car crash, even as he failed to account for the ones he sold before a ban was placed on the use of scratch cards in 2016.
On investigation by a panel in the office, it was gathered that his claims were baseless because the JAMB database confirmed that the registered serial numbers of the scratch cards that he claimed were burnt were actually used by the candidates for registration or other things.
Benjamin said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Police have been invited to assist in recovering some monies allegedly stolen by its officers within the headquarters and the state offices.
He added: “In JAMB, we have nothing to hide. We run an open door system where the public must have an unfettered access to information, positive or negative, present or past.
“The fact remains that the officer in question in our Benue office and many others found in similar situations in some other states diverted the funds before the coming of Oloyede.
“But, be that as it may, management was working assiduously to arrest and hand over to the appropriate quarters, this “snake” that swallowed our N36 million and a host of others still in our system.”
Meanwhile, unconfirmed source said the EFCC was on the trail of the lady involved in the bizarre story of snake swallowing N36m.
Chieshe declined to speak to our correspondent on the issue when she was called on telephone; instead, she directed Ripples Nigeria to her lawyers.
“I can’t speak to journalists; you can call my lawyers. Besides, the world has heard the whole story; what I am just waiting for is the final report of the panel”, she stated.
By Ajansii Mgbo
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