Lagos airport taxi driver returns lost $2,400 to passenger 

Lagos airport taxi driver returns lost $2,400, travel documents to passenger

The passenger, Dele Ayeni (left), embracing the airport cab operator, Adeniyi Olayinka, in Lagos on Wednesday.

A driver with Airport Car Hire Association of Nigeria (ACHAN) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, Adeniyi Olayinka has returned a sum of $2,400 (N864,000) and an international passport forgotten by a passenger in his car to the owner.

Olayinka disclosed that the items were found in an envelope left behind by the passenger on the back seat of the car shortly after he returned to the airport from Ibese Ikorodu where he dropped the passenger.

The money was in foreign denomination and was handed over to the owner on Wednesday.

The driver, who spoke with newsmen at the airport, said despite not having a car of his own, he found it morally wrong to bolt away with another person’s possession.

Narrating how he saw the money, he said, “At about 1:30am on Monday, I met this passenger on arrival at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. I negotiated with him and we agreed at N6000 to transport him to his destination at Ikorodu. I returned to the airport immediately I dropped him at his house.

“But immediately I arrived and parked my car at the airport, I discovered that an envelope had been left behind on the back seat of my car. I picked the envelope and opened it. What I saw was his international passport.

“I looked further into the envelope and discovered there was another white envelope inside. I opened the second envelope only to discover that something was wrapped in it. When I removed the wrapper, I discovered it contained mint fresh notes of US currency.” 

According to him, the currencies were in $100 denomination.

“I counted them and they were 24 in number totalling $2,400. When converted at prevailing rate of N370 as at Monday morning, it amounted to N888, 000.

“Based on the orientation and instructions we received from the leadership of ACHAN every week, I reported the findings to the officer on duty at the arrival car park of the airport,” he said.

He said from there, he was directed to drop the parcel and its contents at ACHAN secretariat at Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

“Since I didn’t have the passenger’s phone contact, I had to go to the place where I dropped him to inform him or his family member of the discovery.

“But by the time I got to the passenger’s home at Ibese Ikorodu, I was told he had returned to the airport to look for the lost parcel. As I was leaving the house in Ikorodu, I got the call from our secretariat that the passenger was already at the airport to report the loss,” he added. 

The elated passenger identified as Engr. Dele Ayeni disclosed that he arrived from Cairo on the fateful day and the incident has proved the advantage inherent in using registered cab operators.

Narrating the incident, he said, “While on the way, I decided to drop my jacket on the floor of the car to avoid being noticed as a very important man sitting in the rear seat of the car.

“Immediately we got to my house in Ikorodu; I removed my jacket from where I had kept it and also my luggage, without noticing that the envelope in the jacket had dropped on the back seat of the car.

“Unfortunately enough, I didn’t open my luggage to bring out what I had for my family members until after I woke up in the noon. That was when I discovered that the envelope was missing in my jacket. I exclaimed. I said all my suffering during the trip has resulted to total loss.

“My wife began to calm me down. She advised that we should look around the compound to see if it dropped in the compound, but I said no that if it had dropped in the compound I would have seen it as I was bringing in my luggage.

“I insisted that it didn’t drop in the premises but in the cab. My wife then asked me of where I took the cab; I told her it was at the airport and she advised that I should go to the airport to inquire if it has been found. I told her I didn’t know the name of the driver or the vehicle number.

“However, with her encouragement I came to the airport and went to the car park where I boarded the cab. Immediately I approached and complained to one of the drivers, who happened to be the duty officer for that shift, he asked me for my name and I told him.

“The next thing I noticed on his face was a broad smile; he then told me that the envelope was found in the car and has been deposited at their secretariat. And that the driver who took me home, had gone to my house again to inform me of the discovery. This is a living testimony that Nigeria has hope.”

The chairman of ACHAN at MMIA, Lagos, Elder Olubi Ojo said Engr. Ayeni’s case was just one out of many cases the association handles regularly, saying one of his members once returned $15,000 left by a passenger in his car.