By ‘Dotun Akintomide
An official of the Joint Matriculation Board, (JAMB), Philomina Chieshe, who claimed that a snake swallowed N36m has been apprehended in Makurdi by men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Officials at the commission told newsmen that Chieshe revealed that the money which was part of the proceeds of the sale of scratch cards was collected in instalments from her by one Mr. Samuel Umoru, a coordinator at JAMB office in Makurdi.
Chieshe who is a clerk at the office, was said to have revealed in a statement she made available to EFCC that the coordinator usually asked her to withdraw proceeds of the sale of the cards from her account in two banks.
In the statement she made to the EFCC under oath, Chieshe said, “This money that I withdraw, the coordinator used it for the office and some time for himself.”
She claimed that she had been warning Umaru that it was wrong to use the money for miscellaneous expenses in the office or for private purposes but he would not listen.
Some of the withdrawals which she claimed were at the behest of the coordinator included the N340,000 withdrawn on May 5 and 26, 2014 with an ATM card.
She also disclosed that she used her ATM card to withdraw N120,000 for the coordinator between June 17 and 18, 2014.
Chieshe added, “He instructed me to withdraw the sum of N640,000 using my card between June 30, 2014 and July 7, 2014.”
It was learnt that Umaru had also been arrested and questioned about claims by Chieshe.
An EFCC told Punch said, “The interesting aspect of the disclosure is that Chieshe’s statement was obtained long before the snake and naira swallowing testimony became public knowledge.
“She was first quizzed on February 16, 2017 and made additional statements on April 7, 2017 , May 30, 2017 and June 28, 2017.
“In all her statements before the EFCC, there was no mention of any episode of any snake and the disappearance of monies in her care.”
The EFCC also quizzed another JAMB official, Tanko Labaran, the clerk in Nasarawa State office of the board who could not account for scratch cards worth N23m.