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Kidney Failure: Patient’s Mother Greedy, Took N3.9m, Says NGO

Samson Folarin

The owner of a non -governmental organisation , Dignity for the Helpless Foundation (DHF) , Pastor Samuel Brown , has said the mother of Tochi , a kidney failure patient, Ndidi Mbonu, is using her to make money .

Brown , in a 12- page document , explained that his organisation had already given the family about N 3 . 9 m as against the N 1 . 4 m Ndidi said she collected.

He said the NGO later realised that the family , while getting money from the group , was also raising money through some other platforms.

Our correspondent had reported that Tochi , a graduate of the Benue State University , became deaf in India after being on dialysis for two years in the country .

She was on dialysis in Nigeria for one year before being flown out in 2015 .

Her mother , Ndidi, said she was stranded with her daughter in India due to lack of funds for her kidney transplant , adding that she had resorted to selling beans cake (moin - moin) for survival .

She had said her family was introduced to Brown ’ s NGO in 2015 and an agreement was reached to raise N 11 m for Tochi ’ s operation .

She explained that Brown also agreed to open a joint account with the family to ensure transparency and accountability.
Tochi ’ s mother said she was surprised when the NGO opened an account without involving any member of the family .

Ndidi said Brown had only given them N 1 . 4 m , adding that he paid N 30 , 000 every two weeks to reach the sum about a year ago .

Tochi , who chatted with our correspondent on WhatsApp , had begged for help from Nigerians, saying her condition was becoming critical .

The NGO , however, said Ndidi was blackmailing the organisation after she had threatened to deal with the owner if she didn’ t get N 6 m .

Brown said during the first meeting between the NGO and the family in September 2015 , the widow said the family needed about N 4 m for regular dialysis and treatment of her daughter.

Ndidi was alleged to have authorised the organisation to raise funds with the girl ’ s name in October 2015 , just as DHF increased the target to N 6 m to enable the victim to be on dialysis for at least one year.

In October 14, 2015, it was reportedly agreed that Tochi , Brown and the group ’ s manager, Shallom Ufforth , would be co- signatories to the account .

Brown said the group placed adverts and ran stories in media houses to start the campaign .

He said Ndidi later called to inform them that the family had decided to move Tochi to India for a kidney transplant , adding that she demanded that N 6 m be raised for the operation .

“ Right there in the office , we started discussing our experiences concerning the matter. Since she was spending N 27, 100 per session for dialysis in the hospital , that means if we want to go by doctor ’ s advice , three times a week will be N 81, 300 . That was how we raised the amount to N 11. 5 m . The hospital documents in her hands and our inquiries suggested that some people may go through dialysis for two to three years before the transplant is carried out, ” Brown added .

He said the group had paid Ndidi about N 2 m , which were not documented, adding that sometime in January 2016 , based on her instruction , the NGO sent N 50, 000 and N 200 , 000 to the account of one Oluwafemi Bukola .

Brown said sometime in June 2016 , Tochi ’ s mother started making unfounded claims about the amount raised by his organisation with a threat to blackmail him if she didn’ t get N 6 m .

“ I called her on September 11 , 2016 , and asked her to check her record; that only that year alone , she had collected N 1 , 150 , 000 . She said , ‘ Are you not making money too ?’ This was when it dawned on me that this woman was up to something .

“ When I asked her if she recalled that she had collected N 2 m from us before the N 1 , 150 , 000 , she said she thanked God that the money was not paid into her account and that she would deny it .

“At some point , we started begging her that we wanted to use her Indian line to campaign so that when people called , she would give them situation reports . She said she would deny that she was aware of the campaign if anyone should call her .

She said she would be happy with us if we give her N 6 m cash, ” Brown added .

He noted that the NGO later learnt that Ndidi had earlier raised N 10 m through two media houses before she approached them , adding that he was disappointed that the family never mentioned that to them .

Brown said while he was planning another round of campaign to raise funds , he saw a publication on Tochi ’ s condition and her mother ’ s allegations against the group.

He said , “ This woman has collected money from us to the tune of N 2 m without record . We told her that she should have told us that she had already gone far with the media (in raising funds); if we knew, we would not have involved ourselves .

“ Since then, she had been threatening that if I didn’ t give her the family ’ s share of the money , she would rubbish me and my foundation . She said I should remember that I am a pastor and she is a widow; that people will believe her more than me . ”

He said with payment for adverts, the organisation had spent a total of N 4 , 727 , 611 , adding that he had yet to raise up to N 5 m .