Lagos State Government has withheld the N25 million donations made to the viral amputee sachet water hawker after discovering that she ‘lied about her condition.
Mary Daniel became a sensation weeks ago after pictures of her selling water at Oshodi emerged on social media and attracted sympathy from Nigerians across the world.
During a follow-up interview, Mary claimed that she lost a leg in an accident that killed all passengers, including her parents when she was a teenager.
The single mother narrated how life became hard and she had to drop out of school and hit the streets to make ends meet, so that she could fend for her baby and aged grandmother.
Her harrowing tales touched the hearts of many concerned Nigerians who donated money through her bank account made public with about N25 million raised.
This prompted the Lagos state government to immediately shelter her to prevent criminals from taking advantage of her sudden fortune.
All was going well for the young lady until the state government discovered on Thursday that her father was alive and she was amputated from birth, not as a result of an accident.
It was discovered that the amputee’s mother truly died but was not through an auto crash as earlier narrated by Mary after arriving Oshodi where she was discovered last month.
It was gathered that Mary was receiving strange calls from those who staged her story with threats to reveal the truth unless she gave them their share of the money.
Following revelations her case was staged, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu immediately handed her over to officials of the social welfare in the presence of the police and some Kogi leaders, who attested her father was alive.
According to The Nation, the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu said that the young woman was in the custody of officials of the Social Welfare and not the police as earlier reported.
“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 explained.