Police probe alleged N30m ‘Save Mayowa’ fund scam, freeze account

MAYOWA AND TOYIN AIMAKU

The police in Lagos State has commenced investigation into an alleged scam regarding the sum of N30 million appeal fund raised for a patient at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Miss Mayowa Ahmed.

Following an order by the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni that the matter be investigated, the police yesterday invited the founder of LIFESTAKE foundation, Ms Aramide Kasumu, and two of Mayowa’s relatives, Mr Iwaloye Seun and Mrs Zaneen Ahmed, to assist in the investigation.

A statement issued yesterday by the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, Mr Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent of Police also said the the Access Bank account opened for the fund raiser as well as the management of the GoFund Me account were being investigated.

Trouble had started when Mayowa’s family members posted her picture on the social media, saying she needed N30 million for her treatment at Emory International Hospital, Atlanta, USA.

Realising that Mayowa is an alumnus of her secondary school, popular Nollywood actress, Toyin Aimakhu, was said to have involved herself actively in the campaign for Save Mayowa fund and grew very familiar with the patient and members of her family.

Aimakhu was, however, shocked to visit Mayowa at LUTH after the campaign had generated more than N30 million only to be told that she could no longer see the patient because the family had instructed that no visitor should be allowed access to her.

The situation prompted Aimakhu to suspect a foul play on the part of the family and raised the alarm that the fund-raiser was a scam perpetrated by Mayowa’s family members.

Badmos’s statement yesterday said the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, had directed that full scale investigation be launched into the report that the Save Mayowa campaign is a fraud.

“Founder of LIFESTAKE foundation, Ms Aramide Kasumu, and two members of the ailing Aramide Shukura Ahmed’s family, Mr Iwaloye Seun and Mrs Zaneen Ahmed, were earlier today invited to the command’s headquarter on a fact finding mission,” the statement added.

“Consequently, the command has placed a red alert on the Access Bank account opened in the name of Mayowa, as it has been frozen while effort is ongoing to contact the managers of Gofundme online account so as to ensure funds raised through that platform is not fraudulently diverted.

“Investigation will be extended to LUTH hospital, Idi-Araba where the patient is currently undergoing treatment.

“The command wishes to inform all the good spirited people who had donated generously to this cause that it will ensure it does not return as a hoax and every outcome of the investigation shall be made open. “

A popular blogger, Linda Ikeji, had reported on Thursday that some people involved in raising money to save Mayowa had told her that it was a scam.

According to the report, Mayowa’s condition was terminal and doctors at LUTH, where Mayowa is on admission after she was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer had given up on her case, adding that the family was aware of this but went ahead to raise funds for her treatment.

Youtube videos on Thursday showed the actress Toyin Aimakhu being accosted at LUTH by some people who accused her of telling Linda Ikeji that Mayowa’s case was a fraud.
The actress was also seen in the video denying talking to Linda Ikeji.

Mayowa’s story had gone viral last weekend when she made a video of herself pleading for funds to save her life.

According to her, she needed N32 million to save her life and had been able to raise over N6.5 million. This prompted Aimakhu to pay Mayowa a visit at LUTH on Monday.

Aimakhu posted pictures of her and Mayowa on her Instagram account and pleaded with Nigerians to help fund a Go Fund Me account opened for that purpose.

“This is Mayowa,” she wrote. “I don’t know her. I have never met her. The only thing I know about her is that she is my fan. I am an actress and I believe this is the time to use my voice. We need your help.”

However, on Thursday, Aimakhu again posted that there was a fake Go Fund Me account using Mayowa’s case and the public should be aware of this.

“Please, to the public, this is so so fake. No more gofunds on behalf of Mayowa and whoever is behind this, shame on you. Please disregard any information about her.

“If you need any information, kindly get in touch with me. I will bring more information tonight again. Whoever created this account, shame on you again.

“And lastly to all our pastors, alfas and traditionalists and everyone, please, she needs our prayers more now, and I’m sure God wants to use Mayowa’s case to let us know we Nigerians love ourselves and we are the best country in the world.”

The development left many many Nigerians confused as to what to believe.

A snapshot of the Go Fund Me account that was raised for Mayowa said she was diagnosed with bilateral Ovarian Mass Carcinoma and needed 100, 000 dollars for treatment at Emory International Hospital, Atlanta, USA.

But according to Linda Ikeji, “there is no letter from Emory Hospital inviting her over. Mayowa does not have a US visa and the cancer has even spread to her liver.’

The blog added that ‘some of Mayowa’s family members are being detained at Area D in Mushin (Lagos) while they investigate.’

But the Ahmed family members on Thursday denied that the Save Mayowa appeal was a scam.

In a statement, they said that the sole purpose the funds were raised was to take Mayowa abroad for proper medical care.

“As a family, we want to make these affirmative statements,” the statement reads, noting that some people doubted her surviving her present condition.

“Mayowa is presently at LUTH receiving treatment for her seven-hour trip to Abu Dhabi. We also engaged the services of Flying Doctors to accompany her on the trip based on recommendation by doctors in LUTH.

“She is receiving treatment to allow her to be able to travel as advised by doctors. She’s been transfused to help improve her PCV.

“The funds raised are solely for Mayowa’s treatment and for no other reason. We await her visa to commence the journey as we are in touch with the doctors abroad and they are awaiting her arrival.

“We appreciate the contributions made by Nigerians on this journey. Mayowa will live to tell this story and you shall be one of the audiences by His grace.

“We have been misled by the so-called top hospitals in Nigeria and have only helped to make the issue worse. We require every support to help to give our dear Mayowa another attempt to regain her life and live the remaining as God has ordained.”

In an interview granted to online news platform, Pulse.ng, Mayowa’s sister, Mariam Ahmed, said her sister has sickle cell and ovarian cancer and said Linda Ikeji cooked up her story.

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