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Mystery Surrounds Death Of 12 Benue Family Members After Meal

The terrible deaths of 12 family members who perished all supposedly following a dinner of sesame (beniseed) soup were still fresh in the minds of the people of Oleg’oke in the Ikobi village of Apa LGA of Benue State. According to Sunday’s Daily Trust.

Additionally, medical professionals are working to determine what caused the disaster that struck a village in Benue, especially the 12 family members who perished from the Ayigoche and Ayigoga families.

The first five people, including a grandmother, her two adult children, a grandson, and a daughter-in-law, passed away on September 5; the final seven, making a total of 12, passed away on November 14.

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It was learned that the first incident occurred after the five deceased ate a chicken-baked meal while the second incident happened after Mary, a grand-daughter of the deceased grandmother, took beniseed from that same house to cook for the seven people, including herself, who all died after eating the food.

The 12 deceased excluding the grandmother are; Adi Ale, Ochefije Ojo, Maria Ojo, Aipu Ochefije, Aboyi Ngbede Ochefije, Mary Ochoyoda, Ehi Abu, Blessing Abu, Peace Ochoyoda, Ojochono Daniel and Favour Edoh.

Luckily, five people survived the second incident which claimed seven lives because they were taken from the village to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) in Makurdi where they received treatment.

The survivors are; Ibrahim Elaigwu (husband), Joseph Ibrahim (teenager), Ojifioyi Ibrahim (teenager), Rose Ibrahim, and Ojima Ibrahim who is the wife of Ibrahim Elaigwu.

There is also Ochoyoda Abu who is said to be the only survivor from the family of seven that died after he lost his wife (Mary), two sisters (Ehi and Blessing), and a daughter (Peace).

A relation of the survivors, Otache Jacob, told our correspondent in Makurdi, that Mary’s – grandmother, mother, father, sister, and brother – had died in September. It was from the same house she (Mary) got the beniseed.

In that instance, the first casualties were suspected to have died from eating a poisoned chicken meal. But, the second incident occurred after the consumption of a beniseed soup. 

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The contention, therefore, is that though they ate different meals within the space of three months, the alleged instruments of their death were from the same house so, according to Jacob, that’s why people are suspecting that the entire environment might have been poisoned by someone. 

“It’s a devilish thing and nothing may show up in the course of investigation. Four of the survivors include my cousins and their mother,” Jacob said.

 Narrating the incident, Ibrahim Elaigwu, a survivor, who said he is now perfectly well, admitted to having eaten the alleged poisoned food and was among those taken to the hospital in Makurdi where he received treatment. 

He said, “But, the person (Mary) who cooked the food also died. We live together; so when the deceased woman cooked, she gave my wife some portion which I ate and immediately became ill.

“Everyone is now healthy. Yesterday (Wednesday), some physicians traveled from Makurdi, collected all the dangerous goods from their home, brought them with them, and announced that they would conduct testing. Today, nobody resides in that house.

His wife, Ojima, revealed that while they were admitted to the hospital after being ill from the dinner they had, they have now fully recovered.

“The beniseed was brought to our home by the granddaughter of a departed grandma, who also prepared it and handed it to us. Everyone who ate the food became unwell.

As you can see, we are now at home. Due to the food, seven individuals perished, but five of us made it out alive.

“Since we all live in the same houses and participate in activities like communal meals, that is what influenced us. But God was kind to us and preserved our life while the rest perished. Their passing still hurts us, she remarked.

Jacob, a relative of four of the survivors, emphasized that the tragedy, which occurred between September and November, might be compared to a story about two towns that are closely connected in a single community.

“A grandmother of the woman who prepared the “meal of death” had passed away in September, making a total of five people who had passed away in the same house, according to Jacob.

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The aforementioned lady, Mary, who was married to a man in the neighboring village of the same community, went there to inspect the farm of her late grandmother. On the way back, she stopped at the late woman’s house to clean it since it had become deserted following the deaths that had taken place there.

“She was in charge of the house’s keys, so following the cleaning, she found a beniseed in a lidded bucket, which she took to her husband’s home to use in making soup and serving it to guests.

“Seven of them from the same compound, including the cook, perished. All 12 of them, including herself who prepared the food, ate it. The survivors, who are family members of my uncle, were the

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