The trending story of a certain young lady, Ahmed Mayowa, suffering from cancer and her plea for help on the social media, has raised controversies as allegations are that her family used her bad state of health to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.
About a week ago, the internet was agog over the fund raising campaign on her behalf.
While the family of the ailing lady had pleaded with Nigerians to help save her, celebrities behind her plea also hash-tagged SaveMayowa, stating that she needed 32 million Naira for surgery that would save her.
In the wake of this, recent development has emerged, purporting that the fund raising by her family was a scam.
According to widely-circulated reports, doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital where Mayowa was being treated had told the family that her cancer, a stage 4 Ovarian cancer, could no longer be treated, and that her case was now terminal. The doctors reportedly also denied recommending that she be transferred to a foreign hospital.
Despite the doctors’ response, the family was said to have gone ahead to seek assistance from kind-hearted Nigerians, who allegedly have contributed a huge sum for her treatment at the Emory hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
Renowned actress, Toyin Aimakhu, who played a major role in soliciting funds, said she has reported the “fraud” by the family to the police.
Aimakhu said she helped in raising over $100,000 for her treatment.
On her Instagram page @aimakhutoyin, the philanthropist raised the alarm that the #saveMayowa campaign was a scam initiated by the Ahmed family to swindle Nigerians of their hard-earned money.
Aimaku explained that she decided to champion the campaign because she thought it was genuine, having seen the cancer patient physically.
She also noted that she used her social media platform as well as put calls to well-meaning Nigerians, including AY, E-money, one of Okorocha’s sons, Peter Odili and a host of other persons for assistance.
The actress wrote: “But after all the running around and securing the funds they said they needed for her treatment, they told me they would be taking her to Reddington Hospital on the Island, and I was happy about it because I live in Lekki.
“I knew it would be easier for me to always visit her there, only for me to get to Lagos University Teaching Hospital this morning where they kept her, we were told nobody was allowed to visit her anymore.
“I was trying to tell them it was a public thing so they can’t say they don’t want to see people, meanwhile the funds came from people, so they need to know what is happening.
“Immediately, I had a feeling something wasn’t right, then I went upstairs to meet them to lie that the governor’s wife wants to know how much they have spent, that she wants to assist. That is how they started shaking.
“I then went to see the doctor inside, I gave him the medical report they have been showing everyone,” she said, adding that the doctor told her it was fake and that they knew nothing about that report.
“The doctor said the family told them they would fly her out by 6pm this evening to Dubai, whereas I was told they will take her to Reddington Hospital.
“I called the Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, who reserved a room for Mayowa in the hospital.
“I facilitated her admission in LUTH and then requested her medical reports with the family. Then a hospital in the United States said it could commence treatment on her but that it would cost them $100,000 each on several occasions. But the family decided to start a campaign for $100,000 without ever thinking of taking her for treatment.
“The fee for medical reference to the hospital was not paid; hence there was no reference letter to any embassy. There was no visa anywhere for her travel. It was just a scam,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Ahmed family, in a swift reaction, denied defrauding Nigerians, saying the fundraiser was genuine.
A statement by the Ahmed family made available to the press, said the #savemayowa campaign was genuine, as the funds raised would be used solely for her treatment.
The statement reads: “We have been called by friends, family and everyone who has our contacts that our raising funds for Mayo is a scam. We were also informed that some persons had made statements concerning her state and her ability to pull through this ordeal.
“As a family, we wish to state that Mayowa is presently in LUTH receiving treatments that will prepare her for her trip to Abu Dhabi. We have also engaged the services of the Flying Doctors to accompany her on the trip based on recommendation by the doctors in LUTH,” the statement added in part.
A police source in the Lagos State Command who pleaded not to be mentioned in print said the case was under investigation.
The source debunked reports that the family members were detained.
The source said, “The police only invited members of the Ahmed family for questioning.
“The Command will get to the root of this case in no time. We will not let kind-hearted Nigerians be fooled.”
Asked if the amount raise was over $100,000 for Mayowa’s treatment as widely circulated, police source said, “We have not ascertained that yet, that is the reason I said the Command is currently investigating the case.”
However, when contacted, the spokesperson, Dolapo Badmus confirmed to our reporter the command has commenced full scale investigation into the matter.
Badmus said the command has placed a red alert on the bank account opened in the name of Mayowa which has since been frozen so as to ensure funds raised are not fraudulently diverted.
“Investigation will also extend to LUTH hospital where the patient is currently undergoing treatment. Our heart is with Mayowa at this Critical period of her life and pray she finds healing.
“The command wishes to inform all the good spirited people who had donated generously to this course that it will ensure it does not return as a hoax and every outcome of the investigation shall be made open,” the spokesperson added.
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