By Dennis Naku
The Rivers State Police Command said its men have killed four suspects linked to the murder of the Ahoada Divisional Police Officer, Superintendent Bako Angbashim.
Also, it said three members of the gang were arrested with a locally made pistol recovered, but that the prime suspect, Gift David, who captured and decapitated the police officer fled during a fierce gun battle with operatives in Odumude community, Ahoada West Local Government Area of the state.
The state Commissioner of Police, Emeka Nwonyi, disclosed this at a news briefing in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Nwonyi expressed annoyance that despite the murder of SP Angbashim, the miscreants were still ready to inflict more pain on the command, saying they opened fire immediately they cited operatives who responded with superior firepower leading to the death of four of them.
He, however, stated that despite the grief as a result of Angbashim’s gruesome murder, the operation would be sustained until the gang leader and other fleeing gang members are arrested and made to face the law.
He stated, “On September 10, 2023, at about 10:30hrs actionable intelligence revealed that a gang of notorious Iceland cultists, armed robbery suspects and kidnappers led by one Gift David Okpara, aka 2 Baba who led his notorious gang to brutally murder SP Bako Angbashim, the DPO of Ahoada on September 8, 2023 where in their hideout on Odumude forest in Ahoada West LGA.
“Following the information, a combined team of Command Tactical Operatives and Area Command, Ahoada stormed the forest in an effort to arrest the notorious hoodlums and possibly recover the corpse of the late officer.
“The hoodlums were battle-ready to inflict more injuries and casualties on police, immediately engaging the police in a fierce gun battle, during which four of the notorious hoodlums who are yet-to-be identified sustained fatal gun injuries while others escaped into the forest.
“The suspects were arrested and a locally made pistol was recovered from them. Meanwhile, the four notorious criminals who sustained injuries were rushed to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital for medical attention but were confirmed dead by the Doctor on duty. Operation is still ongoing, to be sustained to arrest the notorious gang leader and others.”
In a separate development, Nwony paraded seven policemen who were arrested for allegedly assaulting a blogger and extorting the sum of N50 million from him, saying the command under his watch would not tolerate unprofessional or unruly behaviour from any operative.
The blogger (names withheld) had taken to social media to narrate how a group of policemen intercepted the vehicle he was in at the Rumuola axis of Port Harcourt.
He explained he was assaulted and taken around and ended up at the Police Surveillance Unit, where he was detained and forced to part with the sum of N50 million before he was released the following day.
Parading the operatives, CP Nwonyi said, ”Standing here are policemen alleged by one Tiktalker who recently went viral in the activity of policemen that were unprofessional in their conduct.
“And to prove to you like I have always said that crime and criminality knows no bounds whether you are a civilian or you are a policeman, if you do the crime, you will do the sanction.
“To that effect, I have also assured you that we as police officers will always stand for things that are right. It doesn’t matter who comes to make a report, we will give you justice to the best of our abilities. An investigation is ongoing on the allegation against them.”