By Naomi Sharang
Senator Shehu Sani has stormed the office of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) with snake charmers, just as the examination body promises to arrest and prosecute the “snake’’ that swallowed N36 million.
The senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, said the visit, was to get to the bottom of the issue surrounding the reported case of missing N36 million from the JAMB office in Makurdi, Benue.
One Philomena Chieshe, a sales clerk in the JAMB office, Makurdi, 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 to spiritually (through a snake) steal the money from the vault in the account office.
According to Sani, his visit to JAMB is in response to the story that a snake swallowed N36 million.
He lamented that it was of concern that such a huge sum of money was reported to have been swallowed by a snake.
“I believe that the contribution I can make is to bring snake charmers from my constituency to the JAMB office and to help them fish out the snake and weed out snakes from their premises.”
Sani further said that if a snake could actually swallow N36 million, one day Nigerians may wake up to say that a snake had swallowed the country’s foreign reserve.
“Even if it is a spiritual matter, we believe that these people I brought, are some of the best snake charmers in the country and they will help in arresting both physical and spiritual snakes if there has been any in the JAMB office.”
He explained that it was very clear the incident did not happen during the tenure of the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede.
“We are very proud of him. We believe he is someone who should continue to run this agency.
“It is good for Nigerians to know this is what happened before he came into office. I believe the best thing we can do is to continue to support him.
“It is high time Nigerians know that there may be other dirty things happening in other places but this place has exposed it for us. We know the truth and I’m very happy about that.
Sani presented snake repellents and chemicals to the board.
Responding, the Spokesperson for JAMB, Mr Fabian Benjamin explained that on assumption of duty, the present registrar discovered that there were loopholes in the sale of scratch cards.
“We discovered a lot of loopholes. The registrar thereafter introduced pin vending.
“After introducing the pin vending, it was natural for him to call for an audit of the former use of scratch cards.
“After taking stock, it was discovered that in some offices they could not account for what they sold.
“According to her, a snake swallowed the money.”
Benjamin further explained that in the spirit of transparency, inclusiveness and openness the agency felt that Nigerians should know what was happening.
He said Chieshe had been queried and has also appeared before a disciplinary committee.
“A report put together and sent to the Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu and as soon as that report is approved, she will be disciplined and handed over to the appropriate security agency for proper profiling.
He also told Sani of another incident in Nasarawa State, where the staff member claimed that the unsold cards he was bringing to Abuja got burnt when the car he was travelling in was involved in an accident.
JAMB has vowed to arrest and prosecute the “mysterious snake” which allegedly took N36 million from its vault in Benue state.