By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka—FIVE members of Ndenemu family in Umuatuegwu Okija, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State have died mysteriously after a rice meal.
The victims were Albert Ndenemenu, a commercial motorcycle operator, his wife, Nwanne and their three children.
While some people suspected food poisoning, others said it was the handiwork of fetish relations.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Nkiru Nwode, confirmed the incident, but said investigations were continuing, while they await autopsy reports.
An eyewitness at Umuatuegwu Okija disclosed that Mrs. Nnwanne Ndenemu, who was the last to die, “prepared rice for the family’s lunch, which all of them ate and shortly after, her husband and her children started vomiting blood.
“When many people in the village rushed into their compound, following her alarm, it was discovered that they were already dead.”
The woman, on seeing the lifeless bodies of her husband and children, collapsed and was taken to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, NAUTH, Nnewi, where she too died.
An indigene of the area, Sir Ignatius Okonkwo, told Vanguard that the cause of deaths was yet to be ascertained, adding that all efforts made to prevail on the authorities of NAUTH, where the bodies were first deposited, to conduct an autopsy were not successful.
Vanguard gathered that three distant relations of the deceased were invited, yesterday, by the Police and were interrogated at the Okija Police Station.