Alleged N47m fraud: Court remands three JAMB officials in EFCC custody – The Nation Newspaper

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A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama has ordered that three officials of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the alleged complicity in the theft of their employer’s funds estimated at N47.18 million. The officials are the State Coordinator, JAMB Zonal Office, Plateau State, Yakubu Jekada; the State Coordinator of JAMB office, Benue State, Samuel Sale Umoru and a clerical officer in the Benue State office in Makurdi, Mrs. Philomina Chieshe. Justice Peter Afen gave the order for the defendants’ remand shortly after they were arraigned on two separate charges of eight and four counts filed by the EFCC. They pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them. Jekada was arraigned on a four-count charge in which he was accused of misappropriating N11, 189,000.00, while Umoru and Chieshe were arraigned on an eight-count charge in which they were accused of misappropriating N36 million, which Mrs. Chieshe was said to have claimed was swallowed by a snake. Justice Afen adjourned to Monday for argument of the defendants’ bail application and the hearing of another charge also filed by the EFCC. The charge against Yakubu, marked: CR/339/19, reads: *That you Yakubu Jekada between 2009 and 2016 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court while being the State Coordinator of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) zonal office, Plateau State and in such capacity entrusted with dominion over certain properties to wit; 11,189 units of e-facility cards of JAMB committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said properties when you disposed of the cards without duly rendering accounts of the disposals to JAMB and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Law. *That you Yakubu Jekada between 2009 and 2016 in Abuja and Plateau State, within the jurisdiction of this court while being the State Coordinator of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) zonal Office, Plateau State, dishonestly misappropriated the sum of N11, 189,000.00 belonging to JAMB, an agency of the federal government of Nigeria and you hereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 309 of the same law. Read Also: BREAKING: JAMB releases 4,536 withheld UTME results *That you, Yakubu Jekada between 2009 and 2016 in Abuja and Plateau State within the jurisdiction of this court while being the State Coordinator of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB)zonal Office, Lokoja in such capacity entrusted with dominion over certain properties to wit; N11,189,000 million, being proceeds realised from the sales of e- facility cards belonging to JAMB, committed criminal breach of trust by dishonestly using the said funds, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Law. *That you Yakubu Jekada, between 2009 and 2016 in Abuja and Plateau State within the jurisdiction of this court while being the State Coordinator of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB)zonal Office, Plateau State used your position to confer unfair advantage to yourself by converting to your own use the sum of N11,189,000.00 being proceeds from the sale of e-facility cards of JAMB and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other related offences Act.2000. In the charge against Umoru and Mrs. Chieshe, the lady was said to have, under further interrogations in June 2016, claimed that a total sum of N36.5m, being value of the shortfall of unremitted e-JAMB cards, “disappeared as a result of manipulation from the Kingdom of Darkness.” The EFCC said Mrs. Chieshe “offered such unbelievable explanation, knowing same to be false, and thereby committed an offence contrary and punishable under section 139(a) of the Penal Code Law.” The two defendants were said to have in 2015, offered N48,500 bribe to an auditor, Mr. Ibrahim Oba, who was sent to Benue from Abuja office of the organisation to vet the accounts. They were said to have committed criminal breach of trust with respect to 410 units of Change of Course Cards of JAMB, as well as failed to remit proceeds from the sales of e-facility cards belonging to the examination body. The defendants allegedly committed the fraud that was blamed on ‘the mysterious snake’, between August 2014 and July 2016. The prosecution maintained that their action was contrary to sections 97(2), 308, 315 and 139 of the Penal Code Law, likewise section 17(1) (c) of the of the Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act, 2000.
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