Umuatuegwu community, Okija, in Ihiala local government area of Anambra State, were at the weekend thrown into mourning following the mysterious death of five members of Ndenemu family after a meal of rice.
The deceased, Albert Ndenemenu, a commercial motorcycle operator, his wife, Nwanne and their three children were said to have died in quick succession.
There had been conflicting reports as to the likely cause of death since the incident happened.
While food poisoning was suspected, others linked the calamity to the handiwork of fetish relations of the diseased family.
A Daily Trust report sai that the mother Nnwanne, who was the last to die, had prepared rice for the family’s lunch, which all of them ate and shortly after, her husband and her children started vomiting blood.
“When residents of 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,” the source said.
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the cause of death was yet to be ascertained, adding that efforts to prevail on the authorities of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, where the bodies were first deposited, to conduct an autopsy on the deceased were unsuccessful.
The newspaper reports that three distant relations of the diseased had been invited by the police and were being interrogated at the Okija Police Station.
Confirming the incident, State Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Nkiru Nwode, said investigations had commenced, adding that an autopsy was being awaited.