Is This Nigeria’s Most Honest Policeman? Returns Woman’s Purse Containing ATM Cards With N200m, Necklace Worth N1.8m
According to Onoriode, whose rank and division we couldn’t immediately verify before publishing this story, he stumbled upon a woman’s purse containing ATM cards with an estimated N200 million, a gold necklace worth N1.8 million, some cash both local and foreign currencies, valuable documents among others, at the Ikeja shopping mall in Lagos, on Wednesday.
The policeman, who said he was on duty at the mall when he spotted the purse at the parking lot, immediately took it to the security office where all lost but found items are kept in holding for the owners until they lodge a formal complaint of their items missing at the mall or claim their lost but found property after proper identification and proof of ownership.
Onoriode said while going through the items in the purse for record purposes, one of the security men at the office reportedly confessed that he would have returned the purse back but not after he had stripped it of its contents such as the expensive gold necklace, unused recharge cards (N2, 000 worth) and cash.
“I wasn’t disappointed with his misguided speech because that’s the normal character of most Nigerians when they recover a missing item. Somehow, I decided to trace the owner of the purse via her complimentary card and put a call across to her”, the policeman said in the Facebook post.
The owner of the purse, he said, was screamed with excitement when he she heard her purse had been found and secured.
“She drove straight to the mall, tracing me through my mobile number I used in calling her. When we met, she didn’t mind we were in public, she gave me a warm hug and thanked me and prayed for me. I took her to the office where the purse was kept. She checked her purse and discovered that nothing was missing. She was astonished”, the post read.
The woman, who earlier panicked upon discovering her purse was missing, had visited her bank to begin the process of blocking all her ATM cards, about nine of them, as a precautionary measure.
“She said in those ATM cards, she has over N200m in there and the necklace in the purse is valued at N1.8m”.
According to him, the woman heaved a sigh of relief over the safe recovery of her purse because it saved her the stress of undergoing another process of replacing her international passport, international and local drivers licence as well as other documents.
“She kept thanking me and almost kneeling down. She was awed and she told me that she least expected a Police officer to recover a missing item containing cash and still return that missing item intact without removing a dime out of it, mostly in this harsh economy.
“She kept staring at me like am a god”, he narrated.
Mr. Onoriode also said he rejected the woman’s cash gift in appreciation for recovering her purse with its contents intact, making her realize that he was just doing his job.
He also claimed to have made her understand that they could become friends and maybe some time in the future, she could appreciate his “nice gesture” but at that moment, it would be wrong for him to accept any gift from her in appreciation.
He said the gesture left the woman “speechless” but today, they are friends and he just spoke to her husband, after she told him of her encounter with an honest policeman.
“Her husband was so excited and has invited me and my family to join them for dinner in any of my off days”.
Mr. Onoriode concluded his inspiring story with an even more inspiring statement: “[It] is good to do the right thing not because of any reward that comes with it but because it’s the right thing to do”.