The list recently released by the US Federal Bureau of Investigations indicting 77 Nigerians over cyber crime has brought shame to the country and has further battered the image of Nigeria.
This has elicited reactions from Nigerians who insist the country is not all bad and her citizens are generally honest.
In the last two months alone, 11 Nigerians have caught the attention of the media for exhibiting great courage in returning money they found or were mistakenly credited to their bank accounts.
Below is the story of these men and woman whose story is worthy of emulation.
Malam Abubakar Garba, pensioner, Bauchi State
Abubakar Garba, 67, who retired in 2011 has been pursuing his pension since then. His pension amounted to N1,239,777.45. He was eventually paid N1m as a first batch in 2019.
After some months, he was called upon to come and collect the balance but was surprised to discover the full amount of N1,239,777.45 written on the cheque.
Malam Garba collected the cheque, took what was due to him and kindly returned the balance to the state government.
Aircraftman Bashir Umar
On July 16, Bashir Umar was on duty at Hajj Camp Market of the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, when he stumbled upon a parcel
He discovered the parcel, contained €37,000 euros (about N14.7 million). Through the phone number on the bag, he reached the owner, one Alhaji Ahmad, and handed the parcel to him.
For his act of honesty, Bashir Umar was given double promotion to the post of corporal, a rank that would have taken him ten years to reach.
Mr William Okogbue (security guard)
While on guard duty at an Eco Bank Branch in Abuja, Mr. Okogbue found a bag containing $10,000 about (N3.6 million). He took the bag to the bank’s customer service manager and the money was returned to the customer who had left the bag behind.
“I am not rich but those values have been put in me,” Mr. Okogbue said. “ If I had taken the money, I would have been in trouble, Hogan Guard, Ecobank would also be in problem.”
He however admitted to being tempted.
“When I picked the money, I took it to the toilet, checked if it was real or fake. I said, God, is this a temptation or what? I prayed to God. One part of me was telling me to take the money and run, another said I should return it.”
For an hour, Mr. Okogbue debated what to do while locked in the toilet. Eventually his better nature prevailed and he reported the missing money.
To appreciate his honestly, he has been given appointment as a full staff. He also got a letter of recommendation from the bank.
“I feel good about it,” he said.
Olayinka Adeniyi – a cab driver
As a cab driver at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Mr Adeniyi routinely picked up a passenger and dropped him off at Ikorodu.
But when he returned to the airport, he discovered an envelope with $2,400 (about N870,000). Adeniyi immediately reported the discovery to their secretariat located at the airport and the passenger came and recovered his money.
Asomba Nkiru Sandra –Michurinsky State Agrarian University, Russia
In far away Russia, Sandra Asomba went to an ATM to cash some money when she discovered that the malfunctioning machine had spewed out an undisclosed sum of money. She reported this development to the bank.
Her university was so proud of her they rewarded her and praised her honesty, going as far as describing her as an example of civic consciousness, nobility and dedication.
Mr Maduka Onyishi
The Founder of Peace Mass transit, Mr Maduka requested the sum of $3m from First Bank PLC to be paid into his Unity Bank account. Instead, he was credited with $10m. Mr. Onyishi returned the balance to the bank.
Alhaji Abubakar Haruna Kannike, Alhaji Abdulsalam Abubakar and Abdullahi Suleiman
While undergoing pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, these three men individually demonstrated acts of honesty when they found lost items and returned them.
Abdulllahi Suleiman, a driver of the Emir of Keffi in Nasarawa State, found and returned $800 to the state hajj officials for onward delivery to the original owner. This kind gesture earned him a reward from the state Amirul Hajj and Also the Emir of Lafia Alhaji Sidi Dauda Bage.
On his part, Abubakar Haruna Kannike found and returned the sums of $600, 700 CFA and N60,000 lost by a fellow pilgrim. He willingly handed over the money to the rightful owner, Malam Sani Umar, who is a fellow pilgrim from Kwara.
Recalling how he made his discovery, Kannike said, during a hot day in Muna he decided to take a bath in one of the public toilets and after finishing he pulled his clothes off the hanger to put them back on.
“As I drew my trousers, this nylon followed the trousers. I was surprised. I picked it up and there was a wallet containing dollars and some Nigerian currency,” he said.
He reported the find to the camp officials.
“The person who lost the money was very happy he hugged me over and over again and everybody started praying for me,” he said,
“I returned the money because first its not mine and I don’t know what is in stock for me in the future. I don’t know Allah’s plan for me because if I should keep this, it may prevent the bigger one coming in sha Allah. Other officials were also full of praises and they said I have made Nigeria proud,” he said.
Malam Abdulsalam Abubakar, who is also a pilgrim from Kwara, also found and returned $800 and N2,200 belonging to Malam Haruna Babaji, a fellow pilgrim from Borno.
Speaking on the honesty of these Nigerians, Pastor Henry Nwachia of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Hallelujah Arena, Lokogoma said God’s standard on honesty are high adding that He detests lying lips and delights in men who are truthful.
He said dishonesty has found its way into our culture and lifestyle so much that people consider it harmless which ought not to be.
“It is important for people to be honest because as we grow closer to God, we become more like him,” he said.
On his part, Ustaz Zhunnurain Usman, an imam in Abuja, quoted a verse in the Qur’an, which says “Woe to those that deal in fraud… do they not think that they will be called to account- on a mighty day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds.” (133: 1-6)
He added a verse from the Holy Qur’an which says “Oh you who believe! Consume not up each other’s property by unfair and dishonest means.” (4:29)