Chiemelie Ezeobi and Sunday Ehigiator
· There were pandemonium in the early hours of wednesday at Olowora Street, off Mafolukun area, Oshodi, Lagos, as residents woke up to discover seven members of a family, lying dead in their one-room apartment.
· The late family consisting of a husband and wife, with four of their children between ages seven to 15, and a 16- year old niece to the wife, were said to have retired to bed hail and hearty a night before, only to be discovered lifeless the following morning.
· The seven deceased persons were identified as Mr. Zakariah Bello, the father; his wife, a petty trader; their four children, three daughters – 11-year-old Aliyah; five-year-old twins –Taiye and Kehinde; a nine-year-old boy named Farida; and a 17-year-old female relative.
· It was alleged that they could have died as a result of an insecticide they had sprayed the night before going to bed, or generator fumes they could have inhaled during sleep.
Residents of the area also suggested that they may all have died from a poisoned meal (Rice and stew) Iya Aliya prepared for the family a night before.
· THISDAY however gathered that two of their neighbours (names withheld) were likewise served from the same meal by Iya Aliya, but nothing happened to them.
When THISDAY arrived at the resident, a homicide team of the Nigerian Police Force attached to Makinde Police Station had already evacuated the remains of the deceased, and sealed up the building.
· It was gathered that, it wasn’t the first time the family would be putting on the generators or spraying the suspected insecticide hours before going to bed.
· According to a resident in the area who is also a friend to the family and a community leader in the area, Agbalaya Adebayo, “yesterday, I was still with Baba Aliya till after 12 a.m. this morning.
There were also speculations among the residents that, someone (yet unknown) might have been responsible for suffocating the family through the window with a strange chemical, while they were fast asleep at midnight.
· However, there was no evidence to back up such claims yet, as the state police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, wasn’t picking his calls, as at the time of filing in this report.