Money-eating animals in Nigeria and how much they consumed

Nigeria in 2021 was ranked as the 25th most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption.

Although considerable about of the nation’s money has been linked to individuals with some convicted and most still on trial.

Probably due to the abundance of money to embezzle, animals have joined the party; at least based on claims by some government officials.

Below is a list of the money-eating animals in Nigeria and the amount they consumed;

Snake

In February 2018, a snake was accused of swallowing N36 million from the office vault of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB).

JAMB candidates usually purchase scratch cards to gain access to the Board’s website for either registration or for checking their admission status.

But new reforms introduced by JAMB registrar, Ishaq Oloyede, who assumed office in 2016, ended the use of scratch cards, replacing it with more efficient and effective platforms.

A team of auditors was dispatched to different state offices of JAMB to take inventory of the sold and unsold scratch cards and recover whatever money that might have either been generated or mismanaged during the period of the sale.

“A sales clerk, Philomina Chieshe, told JAMB registrar and his team that she could not account for N36 million she made in previous years before the abolition of scratch cards. In the course of interrogation, Philomena denied the allegations that she stole the money but confessed that her housemaid connived with another JAMB staff, Joan Asen, to “spiritually” (through a snake) steal the money from the vault in the account office”, the report said.

According to the spokesman of JAMB, Fabian Benjamin, “She was queried, she appeared before a disciplinary committee, although she confessed that money was missing and a snake swallowed it. Unfortunately, she is calling one Joan’s name which did not appear in the investigation at all. Joan only recommended a house help for her.

“Of course, the management did not believe the story. She is just trying to put an excuse forward. These are things the registrar is trying to unravel to put the board on the right footing. We had a case where one of the staff said he had an accident on his way and the scratch cards got burnt but only for us to discover that they were used because they all had serial numbers,” he said.

Speaking with CNN, the sales clerk, Philomena Chiesche, denied the allegations, claiming 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.

“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?” Chieshe said.

Monkeys

In same February 2018, Abdullahi Adamu, senator representing Nasarawa West was removed as chairman Northern Senators Forum.

According to a letter from the Forum signed by its then spokesperson, Dino Melaye, and read on the floor of the upper chamber by the then Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Adamu was sacked for alleged “financial mismanagement and maladministration”.

The letter read, “This is to inform the Senate that the majority of members of the Northern Senators Forum have removed Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum for financial mismanagement and maladministration. We announce his replacement with Senator Aliyu Wamakko immediately. Find the attached names and signatories of members.”

Revealing the main reason Adamu was removed, a former senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, said about N70 million belonging to the group was claimed to have been carted away by monkeys in a farmhouse.

“There are some things some of my colleagues will not say but I’m not used to holding back. When we assumed office, Senator Ahmed Lawan tendered the sum of N70 million to the 8t Senate. That N70 million was money gathered from the 7th Senate. It was handed over to northern senators of 8th Senate. The rumours going round, which I don’t know whether it’s true but I believe other senators know, is the fact that there were allegations that some monkeys raided the farm house of some of the executives of the northern senators forum and carted away some of these money.

“I think, this country is becoming a huge joke. First of all, it was the rodents that drove away the president and then we now have snakes consuming about N36 million and now we have monkeys raiding farm house. So, they don’t want this to be said but I believe that we should be very clear.”

He however didn’t mention whose farm house it is among the executives.

Adamu is currently the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Termites

In August 2022, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) told the country’s Senate that termites have eaten most of the vouchers containing details of how N17.158 billion yet to be accounted for was spent.

A 2018 audit report conducted by the auditor-general’s office revealed N17.158 billion is unaccounted for by the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

This was reported to be the total amount of money transferred by NSITF from its Skye Bank and First Bank accounts into various untraceable accounts belonging to individuals and companies  from January to December 2013.

50 different queries bordering on alleged misappropriation of funds were raised against the agency prompting an invite by the Senate committee on Public Accounts.

The query reads: “Management of NSITF as shown in statements of Account No. 1750011691 with Skye bank plc, for the period 1st January, 2013 to 20th December, 2013, and Statements of Account No.2001754610 with First Bank Plc for the period 7th January, 2013 to 28th February, 2013, transferred  amounts totalling N 17,158,883,034.69billion   to some persons and companies from these accounts.

“However, payment vouchers relating to the transfers together with their supporting documents were not provided for audit. Consequently, the purpose(s) for the transfers could not be authenticated.

“These are in violation of Financial rule 601 which states that “All payment entries in the cashbook/accounts shall be vouched for on one of the prescribed treasury forms. Vouchers shall be made out in favour of the person or persons to whom the money is actually due.

Appearing before Senate committee on Public Accounts, the incumbent managing director of NSITF, Dr Michael Akabogu, in defence of the Agency said no such document exists in their kitty.

He said, “The container the said documents were kept by past management has not only been beaten by rains over the years but even possibly being eaten up by termites”.

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