Two persons have died while 19 others were left unconscious after eating food suspected to be laced with a poisonous substance at a wedding ceremony in Katsina State. The incident occurred last Saturday at Ali Yaba village in Mani local council, and two suspects, Musa Suleiman, aged 25, and Shafa’atu Sirajo, 20, have been arrested.

The victims, Bilkisu Surajo, 20, and Ibrahim Sani, 13, both from Niger Republic, had been rushed to the hospital after they developed complications, but were declared dead by doctors shortly after.

Spokesman for the police command in the state, SP Gambo Isah, who confirmed the incident, said the two suspects were arrested after admitting to have perpetrated the crime.

In a press statement, Isah said: “On April 4, at about 6:00p.m. a distress call was received by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mani, that one Musa Sulieman, aged 25, conspired with one Shafa’atu Sirajo, aged 20, and administered a noxious substance, known in Hausa as Zakami in the food that was served to guests at a wedding ceremony.

“Consequently, 19 persons who ate the food fell ill and became unconscious. The DPO and his team evacuated the victims to Mani General Hospital for treatment. Investigation is ongoing,” the statement added.