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Last Updated: Monday, 11 April 2005, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
Nigerian boys praised for honesty
Nigerians have been praising the honesty of two young boys who found more than $6,000 and returned it.

The boys found a neatly wrapped black plastic bag near a rubbish dump and kicked it, to play football.

"It felt hard and hurt my foot, so we opened it to see what was inside and found it was stuffed with money," Salim Abubakar, 9, told the BBC.

The money had been kept in a dustbin - for unclear reasons - and had been thrown away by the owner's sister.

Reward

After finding the 853,000 naira ($6,437) in the north-eastern town of Maiduguri, the boys called their elder brother, who suggested giving it to a local politician, Mohammed Tar, who was passing by.

He announced that some money had been found at local mosques after Friday prayers.

General Babangida
General Babangida helped secure Obasanjo's win in 1999
Several people came forward but could not accurately describe the money.

Zakariya Dauda did convince Mr Tar that the money was his but he refused to explain why he kept so much money hidden in a dustbin, although he said he was glad that the money was found by people of integrity.

"I did not know there was money in the dustbins, when I threw them away," said his sister, Christina.

"I am very proud of my children," said the boys' mother.

Mr Dauda gave the boys 5,000 naira ($37) but some Maiduguri residents say this was not an adequate reward for such honesty.

They are also disappointed that the local authorities have not given the boys any official recognition.

This heart-warming story comes as the Nigerian government is struggling to crack down on official corruption, fraud and money laundering.

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International says that Nigeria is seen as the third most corrupt country in the world.




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