A staff of Halogen Security Company Limited, Mr. Achi Daniel, who found a bag containing money and some other valuables at the multi-storey car park at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport and returned it to the owner, has said that his colleagues were taunting him for his honesty.
Speaking with journalists in Lagos on Thursday, Daniel said the contents of the bag did not attract him, but regretted that “some people close to me are already making jest of me for returning…the bag.”
However, he said he was never discouraged by their mockery and urged other Nigerians to emulate him for “it pays to be good.”
“If the money was in multi-millions of foreign currencies, I would still have returned it. I saw the bag on a trolley and I said to myself that somebody must have forgotten it there; it was not padlocked and without opening it, I went to the ground floor with the bag to meet with my supervisor.
“Inside the bag, I saw a mobile phone, jewelries and huge amount of money in dollars and several other documents. At that point, we went straight to the manager’s office who now put a call through to somebody in Atlanta Georgia, who happened to be the daughter of the owner of the bag.
“When they returned, they were jittery that some of the items in the bag may have vanished. But after crosschecking it, she discovered that everything was intact and the family attempted to give us some amount of money as a form of appreciation, which we rejected, telling them that we were doing our job.
“It never crossed my mind to steal the money and I wouldn’t have done that because it wasn’t my first time of finding such and returning to the owners. No amount of money would make me to take what doesn’t belong to me. I believe my own time will come and at the right time,” he said.
Daniel who said the bag was found at the car park on August 18, 2018 in the evening, also disclosed that he had served in the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos where he returned to their owners various sums of money he found in the cause of his duty.
In his remarks, the managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Saleh Dunoma, said several other related cases had been recorded at the nation’s airports.
Dunoma, who was represented by FAAN’s director of engineering, Mr. Salisu Daura, said the act “gives confidence and credibility to the agency’s security profiling system.”
He emphasised that the duo would forever be remembered in the annals of the industry as role models, reference point, shining light and good ambassadors.
“Some others may look at you and tag you stupid, but I want to assure you that by virtue of this act, you have secured seats for yourselves in the comity of those with credibility and integrity. I hereby want to advice other staff to emulate this great virtue and become role models just like these two,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr. Banji Oyegbami, a medical practitioner who had gone to the car park to pick up his friend and his family who returned to the country confirmed that everything was intact when the security guards returned the bag to them
He said he had parked his car on the first floor of the car park and waited for his guests to arrive.
He said after picking up his friend who he declined to name, he (the friend) received a call from his daughter in United States about a found bag, which incidentally belonged to the wife.
“It was only then that my friend’s wife realised that her bag was missing. To confirm the information, I called the missing phone and it was picked. The receiver confirmed that the bag was with him. He gave his name as Mr. Francis and that he is the supervisor of the park.
“We headed back to the airport with speed and shortly we met Francis who after confirming madam’s identity narrated the story. A junior officer of Halogen Security Mr. Achie Daniel found the bag and gave it to his supervisor as lost and found item,” he related.
Meanwhile, the management of the security company has awarded Daniel and the supervisor, Mr. Francis Emepueaku, academic scholarship and N250, 000 as their reward for honesty.