#SaveMayowa Controversies Get Messier As Police Steps In For Investigation
The controversies surrounding the #SaveMayowa campaign, which began on Thursday morning with reports that it is a scam, have now heightened to the extent that the police is now involved.
Ahmed Mayowa Shukurat, a Stage 4 ovarian cancer patient at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, needed funds for medical treatment outside the country, leaving her family, friends and well-wishers kicking off a campaign to save her life.
‘I DIDN’T CALL LINDA IKEJI’
With the well-advanced fundraising now mired in accusations and counter-accusations of “scam”, TheCable visited the private ward of the hospital, where Toyin Aimakhu, an actress who claimed to have personally led the fundraising drive, was seen with a crowd denying allegations that she called a blogger to say that she was scammed by Mayowa’s family.
“Me, call Linda Ikeji? I didn’t call anybody; this is my phone check it. I didn’t say anything,” she said. “See my hand, I got injured when one lady was recording me; she claimed to be a reporter, she is downstairs.”
NOT A SCAM?
A family friend, who identified himself simply as Dami, said that the whole issue was not a scam and Mayowa would be taken out of the country on Friday for her treatment.
“It is not true that we scammed anybody; I am one of the people that were making pleas for donations. Mayowa’s dad has stroke so we always lock the house when we are going out for his safety,” she said in response to speculations that the family was on the run with the funds.
“If anyone says the police locked down their house or arrested Mayowa’s brother, it is a lie. Mayowa has a platinum HMO card and that amounts to a lot of money but all that got exhausted during her treatment so we thought to appeal to the public.”
TOYIN AIMAKHU: #SAVEMAYOWA IS A SCAM
Although Toyin Aimakhu denied personally calling the media to spread the “scam”news, she was unequivocal in her conviction that something was fishy.
She was also visibly upset at the turn of events, expressing disappointment that Nigerians thought she would partake in a scam.
An audio interview that surfaced online reflected Aimakhu saying she came visiting Mayowa in the early hours of Thursday and was upset when she was told to leave the room for a family meeting that was to hold.
In this audio recording by Ynaija, Aimakhu and Aramide Kashamu, founder of Lifestake Foundation, could be heard detailing the series of developments that made them conclude that the family was trying to dishonestly profit from Mayowa’s sickness.
Aimakhu recalled how one of Mayowa’s friends sent a message to her, saying the patient was her fan and she needed help. But she lamented that after calling “Okorocha’s son, Odili, AY, everybody”, the patient’s family members were trying driving her way.
She also spoke about how Mayowa’s told her that they would take the patient to Reddington hospital but after she offered to follow them, they said they were no longer going.
“On getting here today, the brother said they didn’t want to see anybody around,” she said. “I was trying to explain to her that this was a public thing, so he couldn’t say he didn’t want to see people around. But they told me that they didn’t even want to see me.”
MAYOWA GOING TO UAE
A discussion amongst friends of Mayowa revealed that she would be taken to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and not Emory hospital in Atlanta as posted on Twitter by some of her friends.
In another audio, the family said #SaveMayowa is not a scam, but a campaign aimed at saving a life.
POLICE TO INVESTIGATE #SAVEMAYOWA
Security operatives did not allow journalists speak to consultants but one of the police officers, who addressed reporters, said that the case had been referred to the commissioner of police who would investigate the matter.
“All of you that are waiting here, the case has passed this level,” a policeman said. “It has been referred to the CP so you people should go and talk to them here. This is a hospital, you cannot be standing around like this.”
Aimakhu did not address journalists before leaving the hospital, as she was seen holding a meeting with security operatives in a car park close to the private ward.