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‘Snake’ swallowing N36m shows the extent people can go in corruption—JAMB

…Reveals others employees starching several amounts

The spokesman of the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB), Mr. Fabian Benjamin has opened up on the story concocted by one of its female staff, Philomina Chieshe, on account of N36m which she reported to have been swallowed by a snake in the board’s office in Makurdi, Benue State.

In an interview with Business Hilights Intelligence Unit (BHIU) on Monday, he said JAMB has zero tolerance for corruption, stressing that “In our inclusive policy in the board, we say that whatever we are doing, be it positive or negative, the public should be aware”.

He revealed further that “They have their various other infractions discovered . But you know, snake swallowing 36 million looks more attractive and everybody likes the story. But there are others also involved in certain amount of money, like 20 million here, 5 million there, 10 million here. But all of them have been suspended as I speak with you, disciplinary actions have been taken against them and reports have also been sent to the appropriate authority. And we are only waiting for necessary approval and the right punishment will be given to them and they will be handed over to the security agency for prosecution and necessary recovery”.

“The public is surprised about the story of the snake swallowing money. We also were surprised when that defense was put forward and we said that going forward, Nigerians should also know that this is the dimension or the extent to which people could go to perpetrate all kinds of infractions. It was the defense of one of the staff which was found wanting, who had misappropriated funds in excess of N36m, and when she was asked, all she could say was that yes she actually had those cash in her custody but she kept it somewhere and a snake just came and swallowed the whole money”.

“And we made it necessary for Nigerians to know because whatever we do in the board, examination, you know is important. And when you open up your system, you’ll attract more confidence, so that when tomorrow you tell people that look, this is what is happening they would also believe that when it was bad you also told us, so now that it is good what you are saying is also the true position of things.

On how the public will see the story as a mockery on JAMB, Benjamin averred that “It is unfortunate that if anybody is mocking the board, it is quite unfortunate”.

“Because as a nation, we should be concerned that certain things are happening and the way they are happening. Take for instance; if this case was in court, because this lady has put this thing in writing, she has documented it she was queried and she documented it, she wrote back explaining that this is what happened.

“If tomorrow that case gets to court, or for instance if she is dismissed and decide to take the board to court, this will still be opened, people will still know that so this is what is happening and I want to believe that it will be better if we start allowing people to know what is going in the board because it will serve as a deterrent to others.

“I want to believe that even her, she would have been mocked enough for her to know that look; I have done something that is wrong. I just want to believe that where we are today because of this kind of thing is too bad that let cover it, this one is our man let us not put him to shame. This institution is our institution, let us help the institution so these things do not get out, all of these are not good and they don’t help us.

Explaining more on the fate of the Benue State Coordinator of JAMB, the Spokesman noted that “You will recall that on the assumption of duty of the present registrar of JAMB after a year on the position of the registrar of JAMB, we remitted close to 8 million to the government of the federal republic of Nigeria”.

“That shows how transparent and determined it is to ensure that every penny of the board is adequately accounted for. And that amount which is 36 million which is being mentioned, I think it is only that particular lady that is affected. There are other employees that are also involved in this infraction.

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