- An official of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has blamed Boko Haram insurgents for some missing money in the board
- The official said attacks by the insurgents made it impossible for him to account for the money
- Another official of the board also blamed poverty in his office for some missing funds
Just as controversy trails the missing N36 million allegedly swallowed by a snake at the Makurdi office of the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB), another official has blamed insurgency for some missing funds.
In his inability to account for N613,000 belonging to the board, the Yobe state coordinator of JAMB, Sanusi Atose, blamed the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast region for the loss.
Premium Times reports that Atose who had appeared before an administrative panel led by the JAMB registrar, Ishaq Oloyede, said Boko Haram attacks in Yobe state made it impossible for him to account for the money.
Explaining circumstances that led to the disappearance of the money he received from registration of scratch cards, Atose said tellers and invoices issued for the sales were destroyed in an attack by insurgents.
In his reaction, Oloyede told Atose who said he had no documentation for all transaction made on the registration scratch cards to, "kindly go and pay government money within one week, else you will be in trouble."
Another official, Daniel Agbor, who also faced the panel, said he spent N7 million on some of the staff of his office who were affected by poverty.
Agbor, the Kogi state coordinator of JAMB could however, not account for the missing money while some of the registration cards sent to the state were stolen by some unknown persons.
“The state of the state offices is such that we are in poverty and money is there with us,” the coordinator told the panel.
“You need the grace of God in the state offices not to steal money because money is tempting. We borrowed the money and I am not the only one, I will provide the list of everyone involved in the fraud," Agbor said.
He also begged for forgiveness and pleaded with the registrar not to take him to the police.
“If you hear that I have given up in the police cell, will you say I am sorry? I just gave birth to my first issue. Most of us are on loan, my salary is N175,000, but when they deduct my loans, my salary remains N90,000, which is not enough for me so I borrowed from the government purse,” Agbor added.
He also told the panel that he had paid N265,000 into an account allegedly on the instruction of the former registrar of the board.
“I was informed of missing scratch cards, but security personnel, the police and civil defence, invaded the office, retrieved the cards and they paid some money back. I informed the former registrar and he directed me to send the money to an account, which I did. I later learnt the money was transferred to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence. So that one was not calculated at all,” he said.
Responding, Oloyede said Agbor had one week to refund all the money in his care.
Oloyede said: "Deduct the N265,000 from the N7 million, then give us the account in which the former registrar gave you to send the money to.”
In another strange claim, a staff of the board in Kogi state, Murtala Abdul said some of the officials forged his signature and stole N10,283,000.
Abdul said: "We discovered a shortfall of over N600,000 after reconciliation of accounts but we later discovered we overpaid on the change of institution scratch cards.
“In the course of reconciliation, the marketing team came up with another invoice which I was told I collected in 2015. Someone copied my signature that I signed to collect the scratch cards."
Dismissing Abdul's claim, the registrar said: "We have uncovered what had not been discovered before. The investigation carried out in your state indicates that the sum of N10,283,000 is missing from your end. Are you saying the official that gave you the scratch cards does not know you and you said someone forged your signature?
“The teams in charge of giving scratch cards to states have two documents that must be signed before a state coordinator can collect the scratch cards; which you collected, signed and you just confirmed it that you signed for the cards.
Meanwhile, the Osun state coordinator, Olaolu Adeniyi, said N1.34 million disappeared when his accountant was on dialysis.
Adeniyi said: "My accountant told me that he handed all the money to his deputy and the deputy confirmed that he has spent the money."
Addressing the coordinators, Oloyede said: "When I hear the amount of money that is missing, I get scared. This is government money.
“I gave all state coordinators notice that I was going to stop the sale of scratch cards but they thought it was not possible because they thought they could stall the process internally.
“The state coordinators thought I was going to use internal mechanism to stop the sale of scratch cards. But I must sincerely commend the effort of the external consultant that I brought in.".
NAIJ.com earlier reported that Labaran Tanko, a JAMB staff in Nasarawa said that his car got burnt and in the process scratch cards of N23 million were destroyed.
After a crucial investigation of the development, the board discovered that the cards which reportedly got burnt alongside Tanko’s car were already used by students in the state for registration.
The board said the suspect would be handed over to the police after investigations on the development has been concluded.
Nigerians react as snake reportedly swallows N36million | Street Gist - on NAIJ.com TV