At least five suspects have been arrested as part of investigations relating to the poisoning of a family in Limbe, Southwest Region of Cameroon.
According to the Advocate newspaper, Police in Limbe arrested five persons alongside a teen girl, who is said to have allegedly confessed to the crime.
The suspects are detained for the murder of three members of a family through poisoned food that was consumed by the family, before their subsequent hospitalisation and some deaths that were recorded.
Eighth other persons are also in the hospital responding to treatment after consuming the same poisoned food.
The Advocate’s report furthered that a 12-year-old housemaid confessed to having carried out the act.
“House help brought from the village says she was angry after being scolded at”, The Advocate’s Publisher, Tarhyang Tabe wrote on his Facebook page.
It is suspected that the girl might have poisoned corn flour, which was used to prepare the corn-fufu that day, with a pesticide known as Mukap, which is used to kill rats and rodents.
A situational report from the Limbe Regional Hospital that responded to the situation and is treating eight of the family members, concluded that the reason for the deaths and multiple hospitalisations of members of the victim family resulted from “Food poisoning likely caused by pesticide (Mukap)”
The hospital report also noted that a total of 12 persons who consumed the food were identified. The report stated that two of the victims died on arrival, while one other died while in hospital.
The hospital team recommended that a multi-disciplinary team comprised of health, environment, agriculture and national security experts be put in place to investigate the case. They also recommended that there is need to continue sensitising the general population on the use of pesticide, in this case, Mukap.
The Limbe Population has remained saddened over the issue, with some alleging that the suspect teenager might have been influenced.
Formal investigations are still underway, to ascertain the author of the poison, as well as the motive behind the act.