Emeka Nwonyi, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, has said the late Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada, Bako Angbashim, played into the hands of his killers.
Nwonyi revealed that the cultists had sold a dummy to the late Superintendent of Police and were willing to surrender their weaponry in exchange for amnesty.
He stated this during a solidarity protest by a human rights advocate, Charles Jaja, at the headquarters of the state police command in Port Harcourt on Monday.
Nwonyi expressed remorse that the late Angbashim believed the miscreants, only to discover their deception after his death.
The CP, on the other hand, said that the cultists’ actions had “touched the lion’s tail.”
He stated, “What pains me most was the idea of him (Angbashim) believing like he kept saying that these people said they were ready to surrender their guns and come out for amnesty.
“And he played to the gallery, only to know in death that these people were rather crafty in their operation and lured him for an onslaught.”
Furthermore, the CP said, “We gave you (cultists) the opportunity to embrace peace, with no personal interest attached other than the interest we collectively have to make sure that Rivers State is peaceful.
“If you will not take it, was the option of killing this man the best? He has a family; he has children; and he has a wife. No! You have touched the lion’s tail. Those men must be caught to face the wrath of the law.
“We will be unrepentant until we put crime and criminality to their barest minimum in Rivers State.”
He claimed that paying the ultimate price was not the best way to reward police officers who had left their families to defend lives and property.
Nwonyi stated, “As police officers, if we left our family, our environment, and our homes for a state or national duty like this, this is not the best trophy to take home.
“It is a clarion call for Nigeria and for Rivers State. It is a wake-up call against the barbaric act. In this 21st century, a man who is not a criminal said that his only call was to come to sanitise society; that you should stop killing your fellow human beings, kidnapping your fellow human beings, and destroying people’s property. That was the only crime.”
While praising the rights campaigner for his visit, he added, “It is a very painful time for us in the Command to lose one of our best hands.”
He commended Governor Siminalayi Fubara for the N100 million bounty issued on the chief suspect, Gift Okpara Okpolowu, and his members for any information leading to their arrest.
“I am saying that patriotic citizens should take advantage of that. Be a whistleblower and make the money, and also help to make sure we arrest these bad guys for your own interest and humanity.”
Earlier, Jaja described Angbashim’s death as a tragic episode that necessitated the importance of the solidarity demonstration.
He stated, “Angbashim was not someone that was not known to me, because I come from Opobo town, and there were times he was very useful and helpful to the Opobo kingdom.
“He brought about sanity in our own senatorial district. And his death and the manner in which he was murdered left us without any measure but to come and say we sympathise with the whole team.
While asserting that some politicians were funding criminal gangs, he stated that such individuals ought to be discovered and prosecuted.
Last Friday, daring cultists assaulted SP Angbashim and his colleagues in the Odiemudie community, Ahoada East LGA, during a raid on criminal hideouts.
However, after hours of gunfire, his men ran out of ammo and fled, leaving their leader, who, according to state police spokesperson Grace Iringe-Koko, stood firm’ in the face of his assailants.
Unfortunately for the brave cop, he ran out of shots and was injured while attempting to flee, resulting in his capture as the cultists severed his head, arms, and manhood, chanted victory songs, and filmed his headless remains.