Fabian Benjamin, spokesman of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, told CNN that a staffer confessed to auditors a snake had “swallowed” the missing money.
“She confessed that she had the money, kept it in a vault in the office but a mysterious snake came and swallowed the money. The staff and others in her category that are found culpable have been suspended and will be handed over to appropriate authorities,” he added.
The clerk, identified as Philomena Chiesche, denied the allegations, saying the exam board invented the story about the snake. She also accused the exam board of turning her in to authorities, who she claims still haven’t questioned her about the missing funds. She mentioned that she is just a clerk serving under senior officers and she is simply being used as a scape goat.
“I did not say any money was swallowed by a snake. Nobody questioned me about that case. I am just a clerk and I serve under directors who are accounting officers. I wonder why they are personalizing the case?”
Nigerians reacted to the story of a snake swallowing a whopping N36million from the JAMB office in Benue and a lot of people have blamed the incident on the corruption that is rampant within the Nigerian state.
Social media erupted at the nature of the allegations. A Twitter account was even opened for the snake and it has since gone viral. The country’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has even come out to say there will be no mercy for any money-wallowing snake.