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How Lagos amputee sachet water hawker staged untrue life story

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Emotional stories from strangers particularly those with disability conditions may no longer move Lagosians after the story of an amputee sachet water hawker, Mary Daniel, who recently received donations from Nigerians due to her situation, was discovered to been staged and untrue.

Her life story which attracted sympathy from numerous Nigerians both home and abroad was discovered to have been fabricated following strange calls that Daniels had continued receiving from a team who were instrumental to her fortune in Lagos.

The twist in her story linked to the Lagos State Government decision to hand her over to the state police command, Kogi traditional leader in Lagos, a Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), Irede foundation, to further investigate the story and monitor her movements.

Meanwhile, at Office of Special Adviser on Civic Engagement to Lagos State Governor, where the 26-year-old homeless amputee and single mother was handed over to the authorities, it was learnt that the state government was left with no choice other than to hand her over to appropriate bodies on discovering otherwise identity of Daniel.

Daniel was handed over to the traditional leader and other agencies on Wednesday with about N25 million in her private account when the government discovered that the stories earlier narrated by the amputee were conflicting coupled with strange calls coming from people suspected to be those that she worked for before her discovery.

The actions of the state government became necessary after investigations revealed that the amputee was not telling a true story about herself and the life she had been living before helps from the public and government intervention came to her ways.

It was learnt that some of the people the sachet water hawker had a deal with have been calling to demand their own share of the donations Daniels had received from the public or else they would expose her.  

A source in the Lagos State Government who spoke under anonymity condition to The Guild disclosed that Daniel claims that she was an orphan and that the parents died during an accident were not true and that her situations in Oshodi were allegedly staged.

The source narrated that during interrogations, it was discovered that the amputee’s father was still alive contrary to Daniel’s initial claim that she lost both parents during an accident several years back.

Also after several hours of investigation into her story, the official added that it was discovered that the sachet water hawker’s mother truly died but was not through an auto crash as earlier narrated by Daniel after arriving Oshodi where she was discovered last month.

According to the source, it was true that she had a baby for her husband that eloped with N500,000 earlier donated but that the child was not with her grandmother in Kogi state as claimed but with a foster woman in Asaba, Delta State where she left for Lagos in search of greener pasture.

As gathered, the trouble started few hours after a birthday was organised in her honour featuring many activities including the Authentic Nigerian sports and allied Supporters club made her a bonafide member of the association, giving Daniel the opportunity to travel and watch any football game of her choice.

During the party, there was conflicting reports from her on the age after stressing that her age was 26 years and not 27 that was widely circulated.

The Guild learnt that the sudden adjustment in age began to attract Lagos state government officials who began to probe her more to ascertain if the hawker’s stories were true. But as they intensified, more twists emerged with evidence showing that the lady had arrived in Lagos than March 13th, 2021 that she claimed.

Another source added that all efforts to ensure she pursue the dream earlier published by The Punch and other media organisations were turned down by the single mother including a designer who offered to train Daniel free.

She further hinted that media organisations that had reported Daniel story felt betrayed and that they were not motivated to further pick any development concerning the amputee.

At the handing over ceremony, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale-Owoeye, gave Daniel to the Kogi traditional leader in Lagos, Sanni Yusuf, and instructed that the police and others including the Lagos state Domestic, Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), to assist the amputee design possible guidelines that could assist her to manage all funds donated by Nigerians.

Adebowale-Owoeye explained that the involvement of the law enforcement agency was to protect the lady like the police had been doing for the over 20 million Lagosians across the state.

After taking custody of the single mother, Yusuf assured residents of Lagos that efforts would be made to ensure that Daniel gets the best guidance on businesses and other investments that she could set up with the donations received from Nigerians.

The traditional leader commended Lagos State Government and thanked Nigerians for assisting the sachet water hawker to get a better standard of living in Lagos State.

Following the revelations, the Lagos state government directed that her account be frozen pending when all parties involved in her case would have completed their job on her.

Also at the handing over ceremony was the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, who was represented by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Odubona Oludotun.

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