“The police told me that according to Japanese law, that I was entitled to 10% of the money found inside the wallet but I declined, I told him that there was no need for that because I was raised by responsible parents, and that I am also a Christian.”
While on his way home in Japan on June 19, Nweke had found a wallet containing a “huge sum of money”.
His resolve was to take it to the Japanese police, which he did. He was commended for his honesty.
Here below is a statement made by Mr. Nweke in a video obtained by the African Independent Television (AIT):
“On the 19th of June, 2020, as I was coming home at about 7pm, I wanted to buy kebab for my wife, when I approached the shop in the centre I saw a purse and I picked it up. When I opened it, it contained [a] huge sum of money, queen’s cards and other valuables. I was sure that the owner was looking for the money, I was sure the owner was heartbroken then I took the money to the police station.”
“On getting to the police station, the police officer asked why I did not take the money, I told him that I was raised by a decent family and that my faith as a Christian forbade me from taking anything. Then I handed over everything to him and he took my information and everything about me and then told me about my rights as somebody who has found something that was missing.
“He told me that I was entitled to 10 percent of the money and that if the owner of the money does not come to pick the money after three months, that the whole money will be mine.
“Both offers were rejected by me. I rejected those offers because I am a Christian, I rejected those offers because I was raised by a very decent family. I rejected those offers because I’m a Nigerian.
“Here is a message for every Nigerian; We should maintain and protect the image of our nation wherever we are. Especially those in diaspora, we are the Nigerians people know. When we do something bad abroad it reflects on the image of the nation.
“This is a message for non-Nigerians who think that every Nigerian is a criminal. That is not true. Nigeria is a country of about 200 million people. Two hundred million wonderful people.
“There are some criminal elements in Nigeria, I must admit, and these criminal elements are found in every part of the world. These criminal elements are just a tiny fraction, they do not represent who we are, they do not speak for us. They are not a true reflection of who Nigerians are.”
Tweet from AIT:
Meet Ikenna Steve Nweke, the Nigerian PhD student that found & returned a lost purse containing huge sum of money and other valuables in Japan. He also turned down all entitlement the Japanese law confers on him for returning a lost item. #NigeriansNotFraudsters @abikedabiri pic.twitter.com/M890zKc6c9
— AIT (@AIT_Online) July 3, 2020
According to the report from the International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Nigeria Mr. Ikenna Nweke said he relocated to Japan in 2013 through a Japanese government sponsored scholarship program.
He noted that the owner of the wallet, after getting it back from the police has also called him to express his gratitude; and also surprisingly, received a letter from the Ibaraki/Tsukuba police, expressing their gratitude towards his incredible and selfless behavior.
“Not every Nigerian is criminal-minded, there are a lot of Nigerians abroad working so hard to erase the bad name given to “us” by the criminal few,” said Mr. Nweke.
Meanwhile, Mr. Nweke also got another commendation, this time it was from the Chairman /CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa. It was captured in a statement signed by Mr Gabriel Odu of the Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit of NIDCOM on Sunday in Abuja. She said, “it is indeed a great opportunity to celebrate you. This is what Nigeria is about. All the negative information you tend to hear about are far out stripped by the positive information that are hidden and not told and these are the likes of people like Mr lkenna. You have portrayed the image of Nigerians in the Diaspora as unique, honest and cultured set of immigrants.”
Mr. Nweke is a man of integrity and sincerity of heart; this kind of attitude is encouraged more often and exemplary for all Nigerian Youths especially those in Diaspora, making our Nation proud, even the Continent at large.
Image credit: ICIRnigeria