Lagos State Government has withheld the money donated to Mary Daniel, the Oshodi amputee hawker who recently went viral.
Daniel recently became a sensation after pictures of her selling water at Oshodi went viral on social media. Daniel in an interview, claimed she lost a leg in an accident that killed all other passengers, including her parents when she was a teenager. She also claimed to be fending for a baby and an aged grandmother. She said she had to drop out of school and hit the streets to make ends meet.
Her touching story prompted many Nigerians to donate money to the tune of N25 million to her bank account, which was made public. However, it has now been found that she did not lose her leg in an accident and neither is her father dead.
Daniel was exposed after those who staged her story started threatening that they would reveal the truth unless she gave them their share of the money.
Confirming the development, Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu said, “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.”