Mohammed Ogbanago, a security guard with United Bank for Africa, returned $10,000 (about N2.8m) misplaced by a bank customer a few months back.
On April 7, 2016, Ogbanago found the $10,000 close to the main gate of the Oba Akran branch of the UBA, where he worked as a security guard. The money was said to have fallen from an $84,500 withdrawn by a bank customer.
The security guard reportedly took the money to the bank’s operation manager, who then handed it over to the customer when he revisited the bank.
Ogbanago, a Kogi State indigene who earns N30,000 (about $100) per month explains that he returned the money to show that all Nigerians were not corrupt and to set a good example for Nigerian youths.
For his exemplary action, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Tony Elumelu, hosted Ogbanago at the bank’s corporate headquarters on the Lagos Island.
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He was reportedly applauded by the bank’s leadership for the action, which it said was exemplary. The bank repeatedly promised to give him a letter of commendation for the ‘unusual’ conduct.
Elumelu, who posted his meeting with Ogbanago on his official Instagram page, said,
“When I heard about this story, I knew I had to meet the man, who despite facing rising petrol and transportation prices and ‘tomato Ebola,’ returned such a huge sum of money.”
The 29-year-old security guard in an interview said good upbringing helped him to resist any temptation to abscond with the money.
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Ogbanago, a graduate of Kogi State College of Education in 2012, says the story of an airport cleaner (Josephine Agwu), who returned the N12m she found at her work place, also inspired him.
He reveals that after returning the money, he was ridiculed for the action. Many he says rebuked him for returning the money, saying he should have considered his meagre salary before letting go of such a huge sum of money.
Ogbanago however insists he felt he did the right thing, adding that his action was to show that not all Nigerians were corrupt.
“Although my salary may not be enough for my upkeep, especially with the current economic situation in the country, it is no excuse to take what is not mine.
I have been campaigning that to make Nigeria great, we all must prove to be good Nigerians in our small corners. Not all Nigerians are corrupt.
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I am happy I had the chance to prove myself and I want other Nigerian youths to learn from it. I want our youths to know that a good name is better than riches.”