A witness has told a Federal Territory High Court in Abuja, how officials of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), stole N36.5 million without remitting it as revenue.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), charged Philomina Chieshe, a JAMB revenue officer, and Samuel Umoru, state coordinator in Makurdi, with eight counts bordering on conspiracy, breach of trust and misappropriation.
Chieshe claimed that a snake swallowed the money in her custody.
They are being accused of conspiring between August 2014 and July 2016, and misappropriated funds belonging to JAMB, an agency of the Federal Government contrary to Section 97 (2) of the Penal Code Law.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the defendants committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said properties, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable by Section 315 of the Penal Code Law.
They however, pleaded “not guilty.”
Stanley Ani, testifying as the prosecution fourth witness and an employee of the commission, told the court in his evidence that the second defendant’s accounts in Zenith and ECO banks were investigated.
He said an extraction was made on the inflows coming into these accounts.
“We discovered that a total of N29 million was credited to Chieshe’s account between January 2014 to February 2017.
“Out of it, N2 million came in as her legitimate earnings from JAMB as salaries, allowances as well as dividends as a member of JAMB co-operative society.
“We also discovered that N26.9 million came in from various agents who were contracted by her to sale e-facility cards and remit to the Zenith account.
“From her account we discovered that there were no remittance to JAMB rather, almost all her withdrawals were through ATM,” he said.
Ani further said Chieshe submitted copies of the original tellers showing where she deposited money into Umoru’s account on his instructions, from the proceeds of the sale of the e- facility.
The prosecuting counsel, Ekene Iheanocho, tendered the documents as evidence.
When cross-examined by A.I. Ihejirika, Umoru’s counsel, the witness told the court that there was no outright statement written as money from the sale of e-facility .
He added that Chieshe explained to the commission, that her boss usually collects money from the proceeds of e-facility as IOU.
Justice Peter Affen, the presiding judge, adjourned until June 1 for continuation of trial.