Presidency Traced Airport Cleaner Who Returned Over N40m

Mrs Jospehine Ugwu was a cleaner at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Ikeja, the Lagos State capital.

On several occasions, she found huge sums of money totalling over N40 million in the course of her duty and returned them to authorities who gave same to the owners.

Her honesty was celebrated by many Nigerians but some derided her for “shunning the easy path” to make money in life.

Though her story was almost everywhere on the social media, it did not get the attention of the Federal Government immediately.

A Nigerian soon drew the attention of the Presidency to her case and proposed a national recognition and award to honour her and encourage other Nigerians to be honest.

This was how she recently won Integrity Award of the Presidency.

Like her, another Nigerian man and Customs officer, Bashir Abubakar, had rejected a $412,000 (N150 million) bribe offered him by drug traffickers to import 40 containers laden with Tramadol, a controlled and highly addictive drug.

Temilade Okesanjo, the Executive Director of Woodford Consulting Firm, stumbled on Mrs Ugwu’s story on Instagram and a television programme.

She presented it to the Presidency with a proposal for recognition to lift the woman out of poverty and encourage more Nigerians to always display integrity in their dealings, irrespective of their status.

Narrating how she made the move to assist Mrs Ugwu to the Presidency, Okesanjo said: “Mrs Ugwu was lamenting her fortunes and spoke about how she had returned millions of Naira at different times and yet not been ‘compensated’ while friends and family criticised her for not taking advantage of ‘God’s blessings’.

Moved by Mrs Ugwu’s pitiable condiditon and the fact that most Nigerians who often get celebrated include those with questionable character, Okesanjo added: “I thought to myself: it’s high time we started celebrating people who, even in the face of adversity, choose to be honest and display integrity at the highest level.

“So, I made up my mind in that instant to do something about it. So, I took it upon myself to contact her. My team and I visited her a couple of times and recorded a short documentary of her story, featuring her current circumstances and where she lived.”

Credit: The Nation

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