By Abimbola Ogunnaike
At least seven people were feared dead with several others hospitalised after drinking a tea suspected to have been made with a local leaf known as Zakami at a wedding ceremony in Sheka area of Kumbotso Local Government in Kano State.
Zakami contains a psychoactive substance.
Eye witnesses’ accounts said it affected nearly 50 people and that some were still missing, just as 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.
Yahaya 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, 9 May, 2023, seven people had died, adding that 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.
As of the time of filing this report, the state police command is yet to comment on the incident