Abia varsity student narrates why he returned $50,000 to owner
With the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, it takes a good heart to do what a student of the Nursing Department, Abia State University, Uturu, Chidera Atu did. He could have used the money to push his comedy career or even attend to his family needs. He shares his story with Olumide Ologbosere and Ransome Mgbeahuru.
How did you find the bag in your aunt’s shop?
I came to Lagos for a brief visit to my aunt who deals in children’s wears and ladies trousers at Balogun market, at the hidden plaza known as China. Their products are sold almost at same price as buying directly from China. On that fateful day after sales, we went to buy goods as usual. It was getting late and the shop owners were about locking-up for the night. While making selections, I picked up a black fancy backpack (a small laptop bag), which was displayed for sale alongside other heap of bags and added it to the items we bought.
We hurriedly packed it up along with other items we bought, paid and went home. I got the shock of my life while we were sorting out the items we bought. A stack of $100 bills, about five of them, sealed in a polythene bag. That way, the bag looked empty. I was so shocked that I couldn’t even talk about it. I kept the money for three days in great fear and at the same time felt excited that my suffering was over but somehow I was not at peace.
How much was inside the bag?
At first I couldn’t count because it was sealed. After the return, it was confirmed to be $50,000 (N18, 150,000.00), like I predicted, since it was five bundles of 100- dollar bills.
Did you report to the police?
I don’t trust the police. I didn’t report to them. Honestly, returning the money was not an option considering our present condition in this country but another spirit told me to find the owner.
How were you able to locate the owner and when you did, were you rewarded?
I found a SIM pack along with some transaction papers in the bag. I found a phone number, which I called. A man picked and he confirmed the exact contents of the bag.
I was given $3000 (1,089,000.00) after I returned the money. I also received a job offer, if only I was ready to resume. I was asked what I studied in school, and then I was briefly enlightened about the company. I also told them about my comedy career. The bag belongs to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Koka Express. I got an endorsement worth Twenty Million Naira, which would last for two years and I was also made ambassador for their newly launched online market KOKA.NG and KOKAEXPRESS.COM.
What is your advise to young Nigerians?
Don’t keep what doesn’t belong to you. Always listen to that still small voice inside, it’s called “conscience.” It can never mislead you. Always try to be good, take life easy, knowing that everything has its time and season. No need to hurry.
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