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Nollywood stars, Leo Mezie, Chioma Okoye in face-off over fund-raising campaign for his kidney transplant

By Benjamin Njoku

Nollywood actor, Leo Mezie. is currently battling for his life again after he miraculously survived kidney disease about three  years ago.

Leo Mezie

Recall that Apostle Johnson Suleman had facilitated Mezie’s  medical trip to London  in 2017, and while receiving treatment there, the actor was advised not to go for a transplant. An advice he welcomed wholeheartedly as he returned to Nigeria and has since been diligent on his treatment.

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Sadly, the handsome actor is down again with a kidney related disease, and he  needs the sum of N20 million to undergo a kidney transplant as soon as possible.

Actress cum movie producer,  Chioma Okoye’s Purple Ribbon Care Foundation, last week flagged off  a ‘N1000 Campaign initiative’ to raise the needed money for a kidney transplant for the actor. But  while the campaign was gathering momentum, the busty actress on Tuesday, suddenly made a u-turn.

In a statement she posted on the Whatsapp group, Movie People, the actress explained that she decided to stop the campaign following the insistence of the ailing actor to have all the monies realized from the campaign credited into his personal account.

Chioma said her foundation  has a policy of not paying money into an individual account, as it prefers to pay directly to the hospital that is handling the treatment so as to avoid breach of public trust.

She went  on to reveal that  the foundation had a recorded verbal agreement with Mezie  before the commencement of the N1000 Campaign Initiative last week.

“He has chosen to renege on the agreement  before officially signing a written one and has instigated controversy around the campaign as well as commenced a parallel campaign  which pays money directly into his account. We understand Mr. Mezie’s right to do as he wishes and we wish him the best but we as an honourable foundation will not be party to any attempt at defrauding the public nor run a fund raising campaign that is not transparent. We, therefore withdraw the ongoing campaign,” the statement reads.

Meanwhile, the President, Actors Guild of Nigeria,AGN, Mr. Ejezie Emeka Rollas has advised the public to desist from paying money into bank accounts that are not in Mezie’s name so as to enable him  have access to the funds.

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Rollas who gave the advice at a media parley during the week, in Lagos,  informed that the AGN foundation set up for ailing actors was not meant to be raising funds on individual basis.

At the event, which had the likes of former president of the guild and chairman of the AGN foundation, Segun Arinze; Chairman, Lagos state chapter, AGN Mojisola Oyetayo; Vice chairman, Lagos State chapter, AGN, Chris Iheuwa; National Public Relations Officer, Frank Dallas; Ifeoma Okeke, Chuks Egbu, Tony Mezie (Leo Mezie’s younger brother) among others, Rollas added that they have obtained necessary documentations that would enable the foundation solicit financial assistance for the ailing actor.    Meanwhile, Chioma Okoye as at Thursday morning, announced remitting     the sum of N 2,036, 393.99 to Mezie’s  GTB account.


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