WE now have another rare and patriotic Nigerian. His name is Durojaiye Adeyemi Job. The HND 1 Civil Engineering student of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State found a whooping N9.3 billion in his account and refunded it.
ENCOMIUM Weekly was at The Polytechnic, Ibadan on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, to interview Duro, whom the school management now describes as their latest hero. He spoke extensively on how it actually happened, what informed his decision to return the money, the compensation he has gotten so far and what he has been experiencing in the school since he took that noble action. We also spoke with the school’s Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Soladoye Adewole and some of his classmates…
Can we meet you?
I am Durojaiye Adeyemi Job, HND 1 Civil Engineering student of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State. I am the first child of the family. I was born 30 years ago to the family of Mr. and late Mrs. Durojaiye, here in Ibadan. I had my primary education in Ibadan as well as my secondary education, at Lajulu Grammar School, before I proceeded to The Polytechnic in 2001 to study Civil Engineering for my National Diploma programme. I am a Christian, a member of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM).
So, how did it happen?
It all happened on Friday, August 13, 2010. I was going back home for the weekend and I decided to cash N2,000 from my account, out of the N3,000 that I had there. I inserted my ATM card into the machine, the machine dispensed N2,000. I re-entered my password to check my balance, I met the miracle of my life. I saw a balance of N9.3 billion! I was surprised. To verify what I saw on the screen of the ATM, I had to re-insert the same ATM card into the machine to cash N20,000, an amount which was more than what I had there originally. To my utmost surprise, the machine dispensed the N20,000. That shows that the money is real. I printed out the receipt from the ATM and the amount reflected on the print out. In order to avoid any form of temptation, I wanted to go into the bank and report to the bank manager immediately, but it was around 6.57 p.m, the bank had already closed for the day’s business. I didn’t have any other option than to keep the money with me in my hostel. On Monday morning (August 16, 2010), I quickly ran to the bank to see the bank manager. I met with her and I narrated the whole story to her. In fact, she could not believe me until I showed her the receipt. She later said it was a mistake, maybe from the headquarters. She called it ‘Wrong Posting’ from the headquarters due to network. I agreed and informed her that I wanted to put the N20,000 back into my account. She appreciated and thanked me for what I did and that was all.
Who were the people you informed before you took that decision?
I only told my father and younger sister when I got home during the weekend and both of them agreed with what I intended to do. Apart from my father and sister, I didn’t inform anyone. But that Monday morning when I was coming back from the bank, one of my friends (Wale), saw me coming out of the bank very early in the morning. He was joking that I’m a big man. I told him what I went to do in the bank, he could not hold his bewilderment. He went to the class to tell everybody. So, that was how the news spread within the school and beyond.
What are the pieces of advice given to you during this period?
I had already done what I intended doing before the news spread, but when they heard about it, people were calling me mumu (fool). Some said, ‘you should have withdrawn the whole money,’ ‘you should have transferred the money to another account and run away.’ 99 per cent were against it in the first place, but now I thank God. I thank God many of them are coming back to their senses. They now realize what I did was the best.
So, what informed your decision to return the money?
I don’t want to be too religious, but I must let you know that it is my belief in my religion that, ‘anything that does not belong to you, do not take it.’ Then, I believe so much in my family name. Majorly, what helped me was my faith in God.
Do you think your name Durojaiye Job, has anything to do with the Biblical Job (the man who was allowed by God to be tested by the devil)?
(Laughs) I have not really thought about that, but it might have something to do with it. I don’t know and let me tell you, if I got away with the money, by now, the bank would have been looking for me and if I’m caught eventually, the name would be soiled beyond repair and so many people who share the name with me would not want to bear the name again. It would be a kind of stigma on the name.
What was the reaction of your father and sister when you informed them?
My father agreed with me to return the money. We both had the same opinion of returning the money and he was proud of my intention.
What about the Rector of your school?
It was, after maybe a week that the information got to the Rector, maybe through the institution’s PRO, Alhaji Soladoye. He called me through my HOD, saying the Rector wanted to see me. When I met the Rector, he was very, very happy and he promised to give me a scholarship in the process.
So, how did the bank handle the situation?
The bank has not said anything. They only appreciated what I did by saying thank you. I don’t know maybe they can still call me tomorrow.
How would you describe your action?
I believe what I did was the best thing to do to protect my image and integrity. I know that honesty pays, it is better for me to be honest than to do what will put me into all sorts of mess. So, I believe what I did was the best.
Do you have any regret for your action?
I don’t have any regret. Instead, I cherish what I did. People now appreciate what I have done.
Have you been compensated?
The school promised me a scholarship which I believe will be done. The Youth Development Agency, organized an award for me which will come up on Friday, September 24, 2010 at the State secretariat. Those are the things on ground now.
What about your church, did your General Overseer hear about it?
He sent for me in Lagos when he heard about it and he promised me an award.
Do you have any clue what the award is going to be like?
Like I said, very soon. That is by next month. We shall see whatever the award is going to be.
Do you hold any position in school or your fellowship?
I am in HND 1, so I’m not one of the school’s executive, but in fellowship, I happen to be a Bible study teacher. That is, I am a teacher in the Bible Study department.
That might have influenced your action?
I believe in doing what I teach. I teach honesty, holiness and all other good deeds. The Bible said we should do as a believer.
Can you tell us what you have been experiencing from your classmates?
When the incident happened, majority of them were saying all sorts of abusive words to me. Though they could not say it to my face but now they have realized what I did was good.
What do you see yourself becoming in the nearest future?
I am a civil engineer to be. So, I look forward to become a structural engineer and a worker for God.
‘The institution will offer him employment’ –School PRO
How would you describe Durojaiye Adeyemi’s action?
We want to say that the management of the institution is proud and happy that a student of the school did what he did. We do know that because of the economic situation of this country, a lot of people are prone to corruption. But apart from the fact that financially he is not okay, this thing did not entice him and he has done what is right, that is what the institution has been preaching. And don’t forget that when you attend an institution of this nature, you are not getting the certificate out of the institution because you are only brilliant, moral is also considered and the management is happy that he had imbibed that moral.
What do you think would have informed his decision to return the money?
The way people are brought up, somebody that is from a good and God fearing home. So, if you are from a Godly family, definitely, you will do the kind of thing he had done because money is not everything. For instance, if he had taken the money, by now, I am sure he would have been declared wanted. But because he has done what is right, he is free to move around and relate with everybody, including those that ordinarily it will take protocols for him to see. Now, he can see them with ease because he didn’t commit any crime.
Is there any plan from the school management to compensate him?
The management of the institution under our able rector, Prof. Olusegun Ayobami Adeola promised to give him scholarship for his HND programme and also when he finishes in the institution, he is offered employment.
What lessons do you think others could learn from his action?
The lesson to be learnt is that honesty is good. If you are honest all other good things will come to you. So, not only to students but all other Nigerians should know that honesty pays.
Can we meet you?
My name is Soladoye Adewole, I head the Public Relations unit of The Polytechnic, Ibadan.
What his friends said
‘He is our hero’
- Rotimi Olafisoye
Can you introduce yourself?
I am Rotimi Olafisoye, HND 2 Civil Engineering student of The Polytechnic, Ibadan.
How did you feel when you heard the story?
I felt bad because I was the one that championed the group of those that were abusing him because he returned the money. It was later he explained things to me.
Are you trying to say if you were in his shoes, you won’t return the money?
Yes, I said that but later I thought about it and the implication of the act.
How would you describe his action?
Before, I called him mumu and all sorts but now after the whole scenario, I can say he is a good man. I can recommend him in any place now because he projected a very good name for our school, faculty and class. He is our hero.
‘He is leading our class’ – Ariyo Azeezat Adebimpe
Can we meet you?
I am Ariyo Azeezat Adebimpe, HND 1, Civil Engineering student. Duro is a nice guy and he leads our class when it comes to result.
What was your reaction when you heard about the incident?
I was of the opinion that he should return the money, which he already did.
If you are involved in such situation, what would you do?
I will surely return the money because the money is too much.
‘No thank you in Nigeria’ – Ajibodu Oluwaseun Matthew
Can you introduce yourself?
I am Ajibodu Oluwaseun Matthew, HND 1, Civil Engineering. Duro is my course mate and we are very close in class. I run to him for assistance when I have problem in Mathematics.
When you heard about the incident what was your advice?
I told him that the money is too huge, that he should meet the right people to put him through on what to do. Most of our course mates were annoyed that at least he could get some amount of money to take care of himself before returning it because in Nigeria, there is no thank you for good deeds. I told him that he has two options, return the money and be saved or get away with it and be on the run for the rest of his life.
If such money comes to you, what would you do?
The money is very huge. With the high level of technology and security advancement in our society, these alone would make me to return the money deliberately because if I do not, I may be on the run till I die.
‘He fears God’ – Oyejola Aderemi
Can we meet you?
My name is Oyejola Aderemi, HND 1, Civil Engineering student of The Polytechnic, Ibadan. I am his classmate.
How would you describe his actions?
When I saw him showing the ATM receipt in the class, I was wondering if someone in Nigeria can still do such a thing. But with what he has achieved with his action now, I believe that yes, he did the right thing.
If such a thing happens to you, what would you do?
I would think very well. So, I pray maybe the person that would be my adviser would not advice me in a wrong way because if someone is not God fearing, he can never do that.
…First Bank reacts
“We commend the integrity of Mr. Durojaiye Adeyemi for taking the step to report the money he found in his account to the Bank. It is, indeed, heart-warming that we can still celebrate moral integrity and wise counsel in this country. We commend his family for encouraging him to tow the path of honour.”
The bank added, the facts of the story are:
“It was computer malfunctioning that enabled Mr. Adeyemi’s ATM Card access funds in one of the Bank’s internal accounts. This glitch was rectified with a few minute. During that period, Mr. Adeyemi was able to withdraw N20,000 which is the maximum amount withdrawable for a single transaction.
We all know that computers do malfunction. However, First Bank has a very robust security measure in place that ensures security of our customers’ data and their funds, and this has been demonstrated over the years, and the swiftness in which the error was reversed attest to this. Stories of this nature abound globally and in several cases, people have acted honourably as Mr. Adeyemi has done.”
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, September 21, 2010