Mary Daniel: Lagos govt takes action as amputee hawker’s story found to be false
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered amputee hawker, Mary Daniel placed in the care of Social Welfare for investigation after substantial discrepancies were discovered in her story.
The N25 million raised for the mother-of-one has also been placed on hold.
Recall that Daniel became a sensation a few weeks back after photos of her selling bottled water in the Oshodi area of Lagos in spite of her condition went viral.
This prompted many Nigerians to donate massively to give her a new lease of life, with N25 million raised through her bank account made public for the purpose.
Daniel claimed in an interview amid tears that she lost her right leg in an auto accident that claimed both her parents.
She added that she was forced to drop out of school because there was no one to support her education.
She further stated that she took to hawking bottled water to support herself, and her child and aged grandmother, because she had no other option.
However, her story began to unravel after a celebrity party was organised for her a few days back.
The state government reportedly discovered that Daniel’s father was alive, contrary to her claim that he died in an auto crash.
Strange numbers of people who helped her cook up her story were said to have begun to call her to demand their own share of the proceeds with threats to expose her if she did not comply.
This reportedly prompted Governor Sanwo-Olu to hand Daniel over to the Social Welfare for investigation in the presence of the police and some Kogi leaders.
Reacting, Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Hakeem Odumosu said, “The police were there but she was not handed over to us. She was handed over to the Social Welfare. There were irregularities and lies in the account of her life she gave.
“It was discovered that contrary to her claim that her parents died during an accident that left her amputated, it was discovered that her father is very much alive and that she was amputated from birth.
“It was also discovered that her presence in Oshodi was staged. Those working with her played on the intelligence of Nigerians to get donations for her.
“It came to light when the people started threatening her. She promised some N500,000 others different amounts and was planning to return to her home state when the information leaked.
“I had to attach some policemen to her to prevent any attack on her when she went to the bank. We suspected those people might follow her but everything went well as they were not seen.
“Presently, the state government is preventing her from accessing the money.
“The government does not want a situation where it will become a trend for people to cook up stories, manipulate the people to get donations,” Odumosu said.