In the wake of interrogations into the issues of ‘monumental’ fraud and missing cash in the office of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), another official has blamed the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s North-East for his inability to account for N613,000 belonging to the board.
The Yobe State Coordinator, Sanusi Atose, made this known when he was invited by an administrative panel on financial management set up by JAMB to grill some of its officials saddled with the responsibility to manage public funds.
It is understood that nine officials of the board – including one of its staff, Philomina Chieshe, from Benue State, who claimed that a ‘mystery snake’ allegedly swallowed N36million cash kept under her watch – were probed and subsequently indicted by the administrative panel.
Mr. Atose was summoned to Abuja to appear before the administrative panel led by Registrar Ishaq Oloyede to explain the disappearance of the cash after he received registration scratch cards of that amount.
But in his explanation, the official claimed an alleged Boko Haram attack in Yobe State left him unable to account for the money.
Premium Times quoted him as saying that tellers, receipts and invoices were destroyed in the attack, adding that he was left with no documentation for the transaction.
Video of the JAMB staff who, unable to account for N36m during an audit, claimed it was consumed by a mystery snake. She really seemed to believe her cool story 🙁 pic.twitter.com/a89dMAM7Y2
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) February 15, 2018
Dismissing his claims, Prof. Oloyede, described his statement as another disingenuous cover-up for fraud.
“Kindly go and pay government money within one week, else you will be in trouble,” the registrar told Mr. Atose.
Also appearing before the panel, Daniel Agbor, who is the Kogi State coordinator of JAMB, said he spent N7 million his office could not account for on assisting other workers in his office, who he said were ravaged by poverty.
He also claimed that some of the cards sent to the state were stolen by unknown persons.
All nine were indicted for stealing JAMB funds. The panel thus recommended that they be sacked and the recommendation was forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Education which oversees JAMB.