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How dinner killed 8 family members

The people of Umueze Egbelu Nguru community in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State will not forget Friday  May 31 ,  2013 in a…

The people of Umueze Egbelu Nguru community in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State will not forget Friday  May 31 ,  2013 in a hurry. The community woke up to the chilling news of the mysterious death of  eight members of  the Nwosu family of Umueze kindred of Egbelu.  In a family of ten, only two survived after eating dinner in their family compound, suspected to have been poisoned.
The unfortunate incident claimed the life of a 53-year-old widow Mrs. Gladys Egoyibo Nwosu;  her second daughter, Chinelo, 25, a final year student of Sociology/Anthropology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN);  her two grand  daughters, Njideka Nwosu, 23, and Chidera Nwosu whose age could not be ascertained. Others who died included Chisitere, Ijeoma ,18, and Amaka, 12, both children of her daughter, Osinachi Iwuala, 16, the son of another woman from a   neighboring compound.
Earlier on in the Egbelu Nguru Community, a solemn mood had enveloped the entire village, as the villagers mourned the sudden deaths of eight members of a single family from a single incident.
Sympathizers’ say the most painful aspect of the tragedy was the gradual death of the victims.  The widow and mother of the children, Glady’s  Egoyibo Nwosu, who hails from Emohie Emii in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state,   died  on a Friday,  alongside three of her daughters – Chinelo. The trio of Chisitere, Osinachi and  Chidera  gave up their ghosts the following day.  Again,  Njideka Nwosu  and Osinachi Iwuala  who were on danger list  also died later the  same day.  They all died after being rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri for medical attention.
Weekly Trust reliably gathered that the family members met their death after eating an evening meal the previous night. Informants claimed the victims went to bed that night without complaints, but woke up the following day with severe stomach ache.
  The first to complain of stomach ache were the daughters of the widow, few hours after they had woken up the next day to sweep the compound, wash plates and perform other domestic chores.   But rather than take them immediately to the hospital, the mother (Gladys) a member of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church opted for prayers for her sick children by the church’s pastor, under the conviction that it was a satanic attack. For the few hours the prayer session lasted, their conditions degenerated, before it was resolved that they be   taken to hospital, where they eventually died.  
It was also gathered that midway to the hospital, the daughters left in the care of the praying pastor and the mother started behaving strangely, an indication of more danger lurking. They   were immediately rushed to the hospital and they also died shortly after.
While the shock  lasted, the remaining four including Njideka 18 and Chidera 20  were also rushed to  the same hospital and they gave up the  ghost, thus  upping  the death toll to eight in split seconds.    
One of the survivors,  Njideka  who  could barely  speak, told  Weekly Trust  that all she can ever remember is that  she was brought to the hospital about 2pm on Friday alongside her sister Chidera  and Chisitere. She declined further comments saying she was very weak.
But Chidera who appeared to have regained consciousness, before she relapsed into the same condition and died on the second day, told Weekly Trust  that they ate oil beans salad and Ofo soup.
She explained further that the two meals were prepared by their mother, adding that the food was neither exposed nor kept outside and wondered why it gave them the trouble.
Chidera said her mother prepared the oil bean on Thursday May 23rd , 2013 to host a meeting which eventually failed to hold and decided to keep it for consumption by the family.
She said the day they ate the poisoned food, some people came to help her mother in the farm and were hosted in the house that evening after they had returned from the farm.
The first daughter of the family, Ms Ifeoma Nwosu told Weekly Trust that she was in Abuja when one of her aunts Isabella alerted  her to come home urgently, saying  she arrived only  to meet her mother, the junior sister and two of her daughters  cold dead.
She corroborated Chidera’s claims, saying her late mother informed her through the   phone that she hosted some labourers who assisted the family with farming activities that day, pointing out that it was only on Thursday morning that her mother called to inform her  that little Amaka had slumped that Thursday morning and the rest  followed.
She disclosed that her mother rushed the entire family to her church, Mount Horeb of Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim, Umuewerre Nguru when she suspected that the family had faced a spiritual attack.   During prayer, she said,   the victims showed signs of recuperation before the situation got worst and the first three, Chinelo, Ijeoma and Amaka gave up the ghost.  
 A native of Egbelu Nguru and secretary of Nguru Umuaro Autonomous Community Government Council,  Mr. Linus Eke  described the incident as tragic and the first of its kind in the community. He said the community is mourning and would look inwards to ascertain what caused the tragedy.
 Eke confirmed the number of  deaths,  but declined further comments,  as he busied himself with officers of the Ngor Okpala Divisional Police who were investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, preliminary examination conducted by authorities of the Ngor Okpala General Hospital, shortly before the death of the eight family members attributed their fate to food poisoning. They, however, maintained that further medical investigation would be conducted to ascertain the actual cause of the deaths.
In addition, a community leader Mr. Patrick Okere expressed deep regret over the incident  and also confirmed to  Weekly Trust that the deceased mother of the children took  her sick  children to her church Cherubim and Seraphim for prayers because  she suspected it was a spiritual attack.
He  said at a point  during the church prayers,  the widow and the  daughters  started complaining of  severe stomach ache   and  before they could be rushed to the hospital,  they  died  on the way even before reaching the hospital.
Meanwhile, the  death of the family members has  caused  serious  devastation to the family,  now left with only two survivors, as  tension continues to mount in Nguru community over fears that the maiden kinsmen of late Madam Gladys from Emohie Emii in Owerri North LGA of Imo state might besiege the community to demand explanations for the tragedy.
However, two leaders of Mount Horeb of Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim, Nguru had been arrested and detained by the Imo State Police Command, Owerri. The head of the church, Senior Apostle Canice Okere and the secretary, Elder Peter Okere were reportedly picked up by men of the Homicide Department of the command last Friday  on the orders of the Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Musa Katsina.
Weekly Trust findings reveal that the two who are presently cooling off in police custody at the command headquarters were whisked away for alleged negligence and to assist the police with information on what happened to the deceased.
The Public Relations Officer of the Imo State Police Command Owerri Mrs. Joy Elemoko confirmed the arrest of the leaders of Cherubim and Seraphim, adding that they are still under detention and had already made statements to the police.