Eleven family members have reportedly died of food poisoning in Ikobi community in Apa Local Government Area of Benue State.
Villagers alleged that the family members died after they were suspected to have consumed food contaminated with harmful chemicals.
The dead victims are identified as: Adi Ale, Ochefije Ojo, Maria Ojo, Aipu Ochefije, Aboyi Ngbede Ochefije, Mary Ochoyoda, Ehi Abu, Blessing Abu, Peace Ochoyoda, Ojochono Daniel and Favour Edoh.
It was gathered that while six of the victims died in one day, other five died a few days after.
One of the bereaved family members, Ochoyoda Abu, lost his wife (Mary), two sisters (Ehi and Blessing) and a daughter (Peace) to the food poisoning.
Professor Mohammed Adah, the traditional ruler of Ikobi community, said that a similar incident had happened in September.
He said suspicion about food poisoning heightened when five of the victims died the same day in the community, adding that experts were invited from the state’s Ministry of Health to investigate the cause of deaths.
Adah said the results of the investigations were yet to be made available to the community.
It was learnt that there were those who also took ill after eating the food and were taken to hospitals. They were said to have since recovered and returned home.
But Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Catherine Anene, said the victims died last Monday, November 14, adding that seven of the victims were confirmed dead in one day alone.
Anene said, “About three months ago, somebody died in that particular house, so on the 14th of this month, a woman went to the house, cleaned the house and removed the foodstuffs from there which she prepared and 12 people ate and suffered stomach ache.
“Seven people died that same day and five were taken to the hospital and they survived. Investigation ongoing,” he concluded.