Police freeze #SaveMayowa bank account

The Lagos Police Command has frozen an Access Bank account opened to raise fund for Mayowa Ahmed, a cancer patient at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

This followed the controversy that trailed a fundraising campaign for the 31-year-old who is said to be at an advanced stage of the debilitating disease.

Nollywood actress, Toyin Aimakhu, was quizzed by the police on Thursday after it was alleged that an online campaign she endorsed to raise money for the patient’s treatment abroad was a scam.

Founder of the NGO Lifestake foundation, Aramide Kasumu and two members of the ailing Mayowa’s family, Mr Iwaloye Seun and Mrs Zaneen Ahmed, were also quizzed by the police.

They all deny scamming Nigerians who had responded positively in their thousands, just as the management of LUTH said it did not refer Mayowa for treatment abroad.

The hospital also denied being involved in any fundraising activity.

Confirming that the account has been frozen, Lagos police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, said “The Command wishes to inform all the good spirited people who had donated generously to this course that it will ensure it does not return as a hoax and every outcome of the investigation shall be made open.”

According to Ms Kasumu, about N80million was raised for Mayowa in Nigeria.

Over N32million was raised through online crowdfunding platform, GoFundMe, alone.

The police say they will contact the managers of GoFundMe “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.”

In an official statement on the controversial case, LUTH said Mayowa’s family requested to fly her overseas barely 24 hours after her admission, thus stalling all the planned investigations meant to arrive at a definitive diagnosis.

The management said Mayowa, who was an old patient at the hospital, was brought to their private wing on Monday with “a history and clinical features of an intra-abdominal mass.”

“The family and the patient brought along some results of laboratory investigations ordered and done from outside LUTH.

“Three different Specialists were invited to review Mayowa. The Gynaecologist, Oncologist and Haematologist all arrived at a tentative diagnosis of an abdominal malignancy.

“They planned to conduct a series of fresh tests to confirm the definitive diagnosis, since the earlier tests were neither requested nor authorised by any doctor from LUTH.”

The hospital said it was able to transfuse Mayowa with “much-needed” blood only after lots of persuasion, and after the family was told it was risky for her to travel by air, given her low blood count.

“Today (Thursday) is the third day after admission and a definitive diagnosis has not yet been made while the relations insist on their own to carry her abroad.

“LUTH has only dealt with Miss Ahmed and her relations throughout her stay and not with any other third party. Contrary to any circulating information, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital did not refer Miss Ahmed overseas and this Institution is not involved with any fund-raising activity or activist on her behalf.”

Documents posted online to support Mayowa’s fundraising campaign said there were plans to take her to Emory International Hospital, Atlanta, USA for treatment.

The family, in messages circulated online after the controversy broke, later said the proposed treatment was in Abu Dhabi.