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Gang kills DPO in Rivers, dismembers body

Rivers State Governor, Siminialayi Fubara, has declared wanted the gang leader of Iceland cult group and his members, who gruesomely murdered the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ahoada, SP Bako Angbashim, and placed a bounty of N100 million on them.

The incident occurred in Odiemudie Community in the Ahoada East Local Government Area of the state on Friday at about 7pm.

The governor has also suspended indefinitely the traditional ruler, His Majesty, Eze Cassidy Ikegbidi, Eze Igbu Akoh II, for complicity in ceding his territory to the control of notorious cultist, Gift David Okpara Okpolowu (a.k.a. 2-Baba).

Fubara, in a statement he personally signed yesterday, noted: “Yesterday, 8th September 2023 at about 7.00 pm, I was briefed on the security operations around the Odiemudie Community in the Ahoada East Local Government Area of the state and the gruesome murder of SP Bako Angbashim, the Ahoada Divisional Police Officer, by a bunch of criminals, presently at large.

“SP Bako and his team ran into an ambush while returning from their operation where they were attacked by the criminals. Unfortunately, he was shot in the ensuing gunfire, captured and eventually murdered by his captors.

“Credible intelligence from the security agencies traced the entire incident to one Gift David Okpara Okpolowu (a.k.a. 2-Baba) and his criminal gang, who have established camps in the locality and are responsible for the resurgence of violent crimes, including kidnapping and terrorism in Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.”

The governor declared that as a responsible government, his administration could not fold arms and allow criminals and crimes to rear their ugly heads and thrive in any part of the State.

Fubara continued: “Accordingly, upon the review of the entire incident and the security situation in the affected areas with the security agencies, we have decided on the following measures to bring the murderers of SP Bako to justice and arrest the deteriorating security situation in the Ahoada East Local Government.

“First, the prime suspects, Mr. Gift David Okpara Okpolowu (a.k.a. 2-Baba) and all members of his criminal gang are hereby declared wanted.

“Secondly, a bounty of N100 million is hereby placed on his head for anyone who gives useful information that would lead to his arrest and prosecution.

“Thirdly, His Majesty, Eze Cassidy Ikegbidi, Eze Igbu Akoh II, is hereby suspended indefinitely for acts of complicity in ceding control of his territory to the notorious David Gift and his gang to freely operate and carry out their criminal activities.

“I reiterate our commitment to guaranteeing the security of all residents and assure everyone that we will do everything in our power to hunt down Gift David and his gang and bring them to justice.

It was learnt that the gunmen on sighting the policemen opened fire on them, which was retaliated by the police. But, while the other policemen fled, after they ran out of bullets, the deceased officer advanced in the gun battle and was captured by the hooligans, killed and his body dismembered.

Efforts were made to rescue and recover the DPO’s body, with assistance sought from the Army teams stationed at FOB Base Etraco in the area.

However, the operation proved challenging due to the extremely dark conditions within the dense bush.

Community sources said leader of the gang, popularly known as 2Baba, was armed with about four GPMG weapons and knew that the deceased and his men were coming.

Anonymous sources disclosed that there was a shoot out for several minutes between the DPO and the 2Baba-led Iceland cult group.

The bullets, according to the sources, were not penetrating either of the sides till the policemen were said to have run out of ammunition.

They claimed that while the DPO attempted running, but had muscle cramp. The gang caught him alive and took him away.

The sources claimed that for over four hours, there was no security reinforcement in Odumude, Ahoada East.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Police Command has vowed to fish out the killers of DPO and ensure dilligent investigations.

The command through its spokesperson, Grace Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police (SP), said: “In an unfortunate incident on the evening of September 23, 2023, the DPO of Ahoada Division, SP Bako Angbashim, displayed exemplary courage during a mission to combat criminal activities in the Odumude Area of Ahoada East Local Government Area in Rivers State.

“SP Bako Angbashim, alongside his dedicated team, embarked on a raid of known criminal black spots in the region. The operation led to a pursuit of criminals from their concealed hideouts. Tragically, as they were returning from this operation, they were ambushed by a significant number of criminals who opened fire on the brave officers.

“In the face of this adversity, SP Bako Angbashim valiantly held his ground, while his men, depleted of ammunition, made a tactical retreat. Regrettably, during this engagement, SP Bako Angbashim sustained fatal injuries, and one of his informants was also injured, currently receiving medical care for a gunshot wound.

“The criminals seized the body of SP Bako Angbashim, forcing the remaining officers to return to their base for reinforcement. Efforts were made to rescue and recover the DPO’s body, with assistance sought from the Army teams stationed at FOB Base Etraco. However, the operation proved challenging due to the extremely dark conditions within the dense bush.

“The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Nwonyi Polycarp Emeka, has expressed deep determination to bring the perpetrators of this heinous act to justice. An extensive investigation is currently underway to uncover the circumstances surrounding this tragic event. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family of SP Bako Angbashim and all those affected by this distressing incident.”

(SUN)

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