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A collage of Femi Akinola and Raffay Alvi.

08.07.2024 Featured 36-Year-Old Unemployed Nigerian Graduate Returns N20m Crypto After Erroneous Transfer

Published 8th Jul, 2024

By Joseph Adeiye

Femi Akinola, a 36-year-old Web3 enthusiast from Kaduna, has returned about N20 million worth of crypto to a stranger despite being jobless.

Akinola spoke with FIJ on Monday to narrate how Raffay Alvi, an American entrepreneur, mistakenly sent N22 million worth of crypto to him in a giveaway gone awry.

A snapshot of Akinola from a clip he shared
A snapshot of Akinola from a clip he shared

READ ALSO: Gasstreams Asset Management’s Henry Won’t Return $40,000 to Nigerian Who ‘Saved His Business in 2021’

“I have been following Raffay Alvi since January. He normally used to dash out crypto coins from Solana. I had been participating in his giveaways, but I had never won before,” Akinola explained.

“Last week Tuesday, he made a tweet asking everyone to post a random comment and he would give three people $100 worth of the Solana coin each. I replied that I had never won from him, and he saw that comment. He retweeted my tweet and responded, ‘Congrats, $100 for you. Send me a DM’. I was so happy and pleasantly surprised that I finally won something. I went to his DM, where he asked me to send my Solana wallet address. I sent the wallet address and left my phone to charge.”

Akinola said that he was only away from his phone for five minutes. When he returned to check his phone, there were messages from Alvi.

Alvi told him that he had sent 100 Solana coins instead of $100 worth of the coins.

One Solana coin (SOL) was $141 when FIJ checked on Monday
One Solana coin (SOL) was $141 when FIJ checked on Monday

“It was a mistake at his end, and he wanted me to verify what had happened. So, I checked and saw 100 Solana that was worth $14,700,” Akinola told FIJ.

“I confirmed that I got 100 Solana. He asked if he could call me, and I said yes. We did a voice call first. He asked me if I could make his day by making a refund. He said I should keep 10 Solana and send 90 Solana to him. I asked if he was sure, and he said yes.

“When I first saw the $14,700, I sighed because it was a lot of money. It wasn’t easy. It was a battle between sending or not sending the money. I am a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. I have gone to bad interviews, and they’ve offered me N30,000 as a salary for undignified roles. The interviewer told me to get out and go work at my father’s place.”

READ ALSO: Ridewu Adebiyi Saved a Man From Jungle Justice. For That, the Police Detained Him and Took His Money

Akinola stressed the fact that he had tried for so long to get a proper job. It was a fact that stuck with him for so long, and $14,700 made it hit harder.

The Nigerian government discouraged cryptocurrency trading for so long, and Akinola explained that he couldn’t even trade. He was more interested in the Web3 phenomenon.

Blockchain technology pulled him towards entrepreneurs such as Alvi, and he was only trying out for the occasional cryptocurrency giveaway when the erroneous transfer between them happened.

Alvi was a total stranger as far as most of his 181,000 followers on X were concerned. They followed him to learn more about what he was teaching and had no personal relationship with him.

“I made up my mind to return the money, but that spirit kept telling me not to return the money,” Akinola noted.

“So, I called my dad. I explained everything to my father and asked what to do. My dad told me to make the refund. He restored my confidence, and I sent the money back to Alvi. He was so surprised at first; he did not believe me; he could not believe it. After receiving confirmation from his wallet, he was shocked. I told him that I didn’t really do him a favor; it was the other way round. Ten Solana is a lot of money here in my country.

“He insisted that he had to be thanking me, and he asked me which country I was calling him from. I said Nigeria. He said that he had to see my face to be sure I was from Nigeria. We made a video call, and he showed me to his whole family. He made a tweet and put footage of our video call. Then I started getting so many calls. Many said that they saw me on Instablog.

“I am really happy that this happened because we also have to show the world that Nigerian youths are not just about the scams and doubts that the world thinks.”

Akinola was heading for some interviews when FIJ spoke with him on Monday.

He insisted that the commendations he had received far outweighed the backlash and criticism that came his way.

Akinola is the first child in his family. He told FIJ that it had been his dream since he graduated from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, in 2017 to get a scholarship to pursue a master’s degree and a PhD.

He currently teaches what he has learned about blockchain technology and Web3 to children in Kaduna.

“He truly was a genuine individual, and I was sincerely happy to see it and thought it would be great for the crypto space to see that good people still exist,” Alvi said when some people questioned Akinola’s motives.

FIJ was expecting a response from Alvi at press time.

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Published 8th Jul, 2024

By Joseph Adeiye

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