Operatives of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested six suspects on Saturday in connection to the gruesome murder of SP Bako Angbashim.
Bako, a divisional police officer of Ahoada Division in Rivers State, was killed in the line of duty while engaging cultists in a shootout.
The event occurred in the late hours of Friday, following allegations of a gunfight between police officers on patrol and members of a known cult group in the Odeimude village in Ahoada East.
According to sources familiar with the situation, SP Bako and his men were engaged in a fierce gun battle with a notorious cult leader in the area known as 2baba when they reportedly ran out of ammunition. In the absence of reinforcements, the policemen beat a tactical retreat, but unfortunately, the DPO who had suffered bullet wounds during the exchange was captured by the cultists, while a police informant who was injured is being treated in an undisclosed location.
Mr. Bako’s severed parts were seen in a horrific film alleged to have been distributed by the cultists, while a voice mocked him.
Following the murder of the officer, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Nwonyi Emeka, along with his management team and tactical units, conducted an operation on Saturday in search of the daredevil killers and arrested six suspects.
Grace Iringe-Koko, the police spokesperson, in a statement in Port Harcourt yesterday, regretted that residents of the community have all fled for safety.
Iringe-Koko said: “The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Emeka, along with his management team and tactical units, conducted an operation on September 9, 2023, at approximately 6:00 a.m. in Odumude community, Ahaoda East LGA, Rivers State, with the objective of recovering the deceased DPO’s body and conducting an on-the-spot assessment of the community.
“During this operation, six suspects were apprehended within the community. Among the items seized were a locally crafted pistol and various charms. These suspects and the confiscated items are currently under police custody and are undergoing interrogation at the State CID, Port Harcourt. As a result of these developments, the community has been evacuated by its residents.”
Further, a new DPO, SP Zuokumor Richard, has been assigned to the division. He is accompanied by half a unit of men from Mopol 48, one-third of a unit from Mopol 19, 56, and tactical teams.
“He has been tasked with a thorough search of the area, the apprehension of the culprits responsible for the DPO’s demise, the recovery of the body, and the location of any operational weapons used. This operation will continue while the investigation remains ongoing.”
While expressing worries over the killing, the Governor of Rivers State, Gov. Siminalaye Fubara, had placed a N100 million bounty on the prime suspect fingered in the murder, Gift Okpara Okpolowu, popularly called 2baba