The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has said no fewer than six federal agencies are helping the examination body to recover its money allegedly stolen by some of its officials.
The agencies, according to Oloyede, are the police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Department of State Services, the National Information Technology Development Agency and the Nigerian Communications Commission.
JAMB had suspended its employee, Philomina Chieshe, two weeks ago on account of the handling of N36m, which she claimed had been swallowed by a snake at the board’s office in Makurdi, Benue State.
Later that week, the board said it was investigating fresh cases of fraud totalling N83m uncovered in its state offices in Kano, Edo, Kogi, Gombe and Plateau.
The JAMB registrar however assured Nigerians that all the stolen funds would be recovered and paid to the purse of the Federal Government.
He said, “We have received cooperation from other agencies in monitoring the fraud and other sharp practices. We would not have had the wherewithal to detect some of the things we are detecting if not for the cooperation of these agencies.”
He explained that his management gave those who stole money an opportunity to pay back what they took into JAMB accounts when it was discovered that a lot of the workers could not give proper records of transactions they carried out on behalf of the agency.
Oloyede said, “We had no problem with all the officers who paid back what they had with them and they remained on their jobs. We (however) handed over those who wanted to be clever and felt they had stolen the money and were not ready to refund anything to the security agencies.
“Having handed them over (for prosecution), it has left my purview. What remains is for them to pay back the money. They had misused the privilege of payment without prosecution in the first place.”
The JAMB registrar could not confirm the number of workers currently being investigated or the amount they allegedly stole because the probe is still ongoing.
“I believe that the affected officers, out of mistake, must have done what they did before 2016. If anyone is caught now, we will be as ruthless as possible. There will be no option of payback and sin anymore,” he added.
Oloyede said the essence of the mock examination, billed to start on Monday, was to enable JAMB to identify areas that were not perfect and correct the errors.
He stated, “We also want to seize the opportunity to expose those who are afraid of computers to the use of technology. We want them to know that the computer-based test is the best way.”