No fewer than 10 people were reported to have died and several others hospitalised after drinking tea suspected to have been prepared with a local leaf popularly known as Zakami at a wedding ceremony in Kano.
Zakami contains a psychoactive substance according to Leadership Newspaper reports.
The incident happened on Tuesday in Sheka quarters of Kumbotso local government area of Kano State.
One of the witnesses, Sanusi Yahaya, who is also an elder brother of the bride, said the tea was suspected to be made with different types of drugs apart from the local leaf.
He said it had become a norm for the young people in the area, especially drug addicts, to cook tea during ceremonies and that they hide under that to take drugs.
“They cooked the tea and they themselves didn’t even know the number and types of drugs that were inside to the extent that some had to abandon it but some of them insisted that they must drink from the tea, saying that their brains can take it.
“After drinking the tea, two people died, some have recovered while others are hospitalised,” he said.
Another witness, Abdullahi Muhammad, said as of Tuesday seven people had died.
He said some of those hospitalised were not from the area but were just passing by and decided to drink from the tea.
“We don’t know the exact number for now, but in the morning seven were confirmed dead. Some of them were not even invited to the wedding, they just came to disguise and take their drugs,” he said.
The groom couldn’t be reached for comment about the incident as he was said to be on the run along with others.
It was learnt that most of those who drank the tea and got intoxicated were invited guests who came to the wedding from different parts of the state
When contacted, the Kano Police command’s public relations officer, SP Abdullahi Haruna said the command and the divisional police officer in the area were yet to receive any report of the incident.
“Even though we heard about the incident, till now nobody reported it to the DPO or the state command,” he said.