Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers has placed a N100 million bounty on the killers of the late Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Ahoada, Ahoada East Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, SP Bako Angbashim.
Governor Fubura, in a statement issued on Saturday, said investigation by security agencies had linked one Gift David Okpara Okpolowu and his gang to the murder of the senior police officer.
The governor said that Mr Okpara and his criminal gang had established camps in the area and were responsible for the resurgence of violent crimes, including kidnapping and terrorism in the Ahoada East LGA.
He said, “As a responsible government, we cannot fold our arms and allow criminals and crimes to rear their ugly heads and thrive in any part of our state.
“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 one hundred million (N100,000,000.00) naira is hereby placed on his head for anyone who gives useful information that would lead to his arrest and prosecution,” he stated.
The governor also announced the suspension of the traditional ruler in the area, Cassidy Ikegbidi, over “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.”
Peoples Gazette had reported that the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Grace Eringe-Koko, in a statement on Saturday, confirmed that Mr Angbashim was killed in an ambush on Friday by suspected members of a cult group in Odemude area of the council.
He was killed after his team were returning from a raid of known notorious black spots in the area, where they had dislodged criminals from their concealed hideouts.
Mrs Eringe-Koko had explained that “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 Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, also “condemned the murder of the DPO Angbashim, while demanding the immediate arrest and prosecution of the culprits, adding that any nefarious act against any officer of the force will not be treated with levity.”