Lagos airport cleaner, Josephine Ugwu who found a passenger’s N12m naira at the airport has said one of the reasons she returned the money is because she is a Christian and a child of God. She also said she was well brought up and would not want to put her family name in a mess, hence she returned the money.
In a chat with Encomium newspaper, Josephine explained how the money was found and the reward she got afterwards. She also debunked the rumour that an organization gave her N2m, but emphasized the man who lost the money did not give her a penny but gave security men N15,000. The security men now later gave her N5000 out of the given money.The interview after the cut.
Can we meet you?
My name is Josephine Ugwu. I am from Obokpa, Nsukka Local Government, Enugu State. I am single though engaged to be married. I have a blood brother, Ignatius Ugwu and a step brother.
Can you recall how it all happened?
It all started on January 23, 2015. I was on morning duty. For those on morning duty, we work from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. I saw a bag while I was picking dirts. It had been there since 6.30 p.m. After I finished my work and I was still going home by 7.30 p.m, the bag was still there. So, I went over to the place and told the people I saw beside the bag to watch out so that the owner will not forget the bag. I was told nobody among them owned it. Suddenly, they started leaving one after the other. I picked the bag, went straight to the security point were those scanning could scan the bag. They checked it and counted the money inside. American dollars were inside (N12 million worth). Later, security men came with a man who said he was looking for a bag. After series of interrogation, they collected his passport, photocopied it and he signed and he was given the money.
Did you tell Patoville about it?
Yes, I did. I told them immediately and I was asked to return the bag to the security, which I had already done.
Who was the first person you had contact with after picking the bag?
I called my supervisor, Madam Eunice.
Naturally, as a human being, there will be temptation to pick the bag and not return it. What went through your mind at first?
That wasn’t my first time of picking money. I picked one on December 23, 2014, another one on December 27, 2014. This was the third time. I never had second thought when I picked it. I knew it’s money but I cannot take anything that does not belong to me. It is another person’s sweat. I don’t want to put Nigeria to shame. I want people to know I come from a good family. All values inculcated in me still there. A lot of people know me as a child of God. I still want that integrity to stand.
Were you compensated the first and second time?
The first time, the owner didn’t give me anything. The second time, I was given $50 by the white man that owned it. This time around, the owner gave the security men about N15,000. I was given N5,000 out of it.
We learnt Voice of Change Network gave you N2 million?
That is not true. One organization gave me N20,000, I also got a freezer.
We learnt they have increased your salary?
Yes, from N8,000 it is now N20,000. I was also promoted to a supervisor.