The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has vowed to arrest and prosecute the mysterious ‘snake’ and other staff that must have assisted the disappearance of N36 million from its Benue State office.
This is coming as the board announced that the sale of 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) application is closed with over 1.6 million candidates successfully completed their registration.
The Head of Media and Public Relations of JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, disclosed this in a statement yesterday, saying the board would deploy all available resources to arrest and prosecute anyone found undermining the integrity of the board irrespective of who is involved.
On the snake issue, Benjamin said the board maintain that there is no hiding place for any form of crime to thrive in the running of the board’s activities.
He recalled that the Professor Ishaq Oloyede-led management had on assumption of duty embarked on a tour of the board’s state offices to ascertain their actual financial standing and their general operations.
According to him, some of the reforms introduced by Oloyede when he assumed office in 2016 included the recommendation of an end to the use of scratch cards, replacing it with more efficient and effective modes of pin vending.
The JAMB spokesman noted that the UTME candidates had before now purchased scratch cards from “our offices nationwide and designated centres to gain access to the board’s website for either registration or other essential services.”
Oloyede revealed that it is in the process of the routine audit and other checks of state offices account and activities that an official in charge of the Benue State office of the board was found wanting in an effort to give an accurate account of the proceeds realised from the sales of the cards.
He stated: “We are not going to take lightly our fight against corruption no matter who is involved.
“We are going to unravel, arrest and prosecute this alleged ‘mysterious snake’, just as we are going to bring to book any of our officers or stakeholders who is caught in any activities not in line with the board’s policies.
“A number of persons have indeed been discovered to have misappropriated funds belonging to the board, and the one at hand currently is one of such numerous cases of misappropriation in the state offices.
“Another of such cases uncovered by the Oloyede management-led team is that of a state officer who also failed to give account of monies realised from the sales of the card but rather claimed that he was on his way to return some unsold scratch cards when he was involved in a car crash and the car was burnt with the cards.
“He had claimed that all the cards then got burnt in the process, just as he failed to account for those sold before the ban on the use of scratch cards.
“We want to carry out careful scrutiny of government funds as well as block all leakages and loopholes.”
Benjamin stated that the board would not leave any stone unturned in its fight to stamp out corruption in its activities.
He stressed that JAMB would not condone or hide any act of misconduct, no matter how uncomfortable or unpleasant it may be to the board or any stakeholder.
To this end, he said the board has deployed machineries to fight corruptions, infractions, and admission malpractice, financial misappropriation in a total and comprehensive manner.
“There will be no sacred cow, be it a staff of the board or any stakeholder partnering the board,” he stated.
On the UTME, Benjamin urged the public to note that all candidates who paid and obtained pins and could not successfully registered at the close of sale are allowed to quickly within 24hrs complete their registration as no complaints would be entertained afterwards.