A Damaturu-based commercial motorist, identified as Malam Kiri Umaru, has returned over N1.7 million he found at different times to their rightful owners. Damaturu is the capital city of Yobe state located in the Northeastern part of Nigeria.
Despite spending about 40 years of conveying passengers and goods across towns and villages in cars he drove for others, Umaru’s honesty has not allowed him to even think of keeping the monies he has found for himself.
At 60, Umaru is married to two wives and has 12 children who all depend on what he gets from his job as a driver.
He said the last amount of money he found and returned to the owner was N1,380,000.
He found it in a sealed bag and took it to the leadership of the drivers’ union to be returned to the rightful owner.
Umaru explained that he had loaded passengers on his way to Gashua from Dapchi on that fateful day.
“On approaching Garin Alkali from Bayamari, I sighted a nylon bag abandoned by the roadside and I became curious so I asked my passengers to excuse me and I parked.
“I took the bag but hid before opening it, only to discover that it was full of money.
“I put it in my car boot without informing any of the passengers what I found.
“Upon reaching Gashua, after all the passengers had alighted, I drove to the leadership of my union, the road transport union.
“We counted the money together and I handed all the money to them to find and hand it over to the owner.
“On returning to Damaturu, I received a call that the owners of the money had been found and they insisted they wanted to see me, but I told them I couldn’t return to Gashua.
“They were so excited and they thanked me immensely. You may not know it but that was not the only money I found and returned to their owners; I have at different times also found N150,000, N50,000 and the last one was N1,380,000 and returned all the monies owners,” he said.
When asked what motivated him to return all money he found to their owners, Umaru said, “I passionately believe that whatever I got not from my sweat is not meant for me.”