Three family members have reportedly died in their sleep in Bayelsa State after having a dinner suspected to have been poisoned. The incident occurred in Azikoro, a suburb of Yenagoa, the state capital, on Friday.
The deceased, who hailed from Ozallah community, in the Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, were identified as Orji Igwenta (husband), Nkem Igwenta (wife) and Obinna Ogbani, Orji’s brother.
While Orji was 35, his wife, Nkem, who was said to be pregnant, was 34. Ogbani was 10 years old.
As an indication that the family of three might have died from poison, it was learnt that a rat was found dead beside the corpses.
The neighbours reportedly found their corpses on the floor.
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday, said neighbours reported the incident at the Azikoro Police Division.
He said, “They slept on Friday and did not wake up. The man used to drive a commercial tricycle and he woke up daily before 5am. So, we were surprised that his tricycle was still parked outside in the afternoon.
“We knocked on their door and got no feedback. So, we forced the door open and had to rush to the police station to report what we saw. The police took the landlord for questioning and they have been investigating the incident.”
He said, “The death of our members came to us as a surprise because the husband and his pregnant wife died in their prime. We got in touch with their families in Enugu and they requested that their remains be brought home.
“We call on law enforcement agencies to unravel the cause of this strange death.”
The spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswat, confirmed the tragedy, adding that the incident was being investigated.
Butswat said, “It is a case of sudden and unnatural death. On September 21, 2018, around 3.40pm, the landlord of the victims reported that the deceased, one Orji Igwenta, male, 35, a native of Ozallah community, in the Nkanu West LGA of Enugu State and a tricycle rider, was found dead with his wife, Mrs Nkem Igwenta, 34.
“Also found dead with them was Obinna Ogbani, male, aged 10, a brother of Orji Igwenta.
“Also found dead by their side was a rat, which is suspected to have eaten the same poisoned food with the family.”