Sunday, September 24, 2023

Police confirm killing of DPO in Rivers by suspected cultists

The DPO was killed during an exchange of gun fire between his team and the cultists, who also made away with his body.

• September 9, 2023
Bako Angbashim
Bako Angbashim.

The police in Rivers state have confirmed the killing of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Ahoada East Local Government, Bako Angbashim.SP Angbashim was said to have been killed 

by suspected members of a cult group in Odemude area of the council between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Friday.Confirming the incident in a statement on Saturday, the command’s Public Relations Officer, 

Grace Eringe-Koko, said the cultists ambushed the DPO after he dislodged a notorious criminal hideout in the area.

The police spokesperson said the late DPO was killed during an exchange of gun fire between his team and the criminal gang, who also whisked away his body.

She said that despite assistance from the Nigerian Army, they were unable to go for the body due to darkness in the bush, but vowed that the criminals who committed the gruesome act will be hunted down.

The statement from the spokesperson reads: “In an unfortunate incident on 8th of September 8, 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 blackspots 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 Policel (CP) Nwonyi Polycarp, PhD, has expressed deep determination to bring the perpetrators of this heinous act to justice.

“An extensive investigation is 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,” it said. 

Graphic videos and photographs on Saturday showed the cultists beheading and dismembering the body of the slain officer, as they celebrated his killing.

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