Emeka Nwonyi, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, has revealed that 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 that they were ready to turn in their arms if they would be granted amnesty in return.
He disclosed 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 regret that the late Angbashim trusted the miscreants, only for him (Angbashim) to realise their deceit in death.
The CP, however, said that by the action of the cultists, “they have 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.”
Continuing, the CP said, “We gave you (cultists) the opportunity to embrace peace, no personal interest attached 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 its barest minimum in Rivers State.”
He said that paying the supreme price was not the best reward for policemen who left their families to protect lives and property.
Nwonyi stated, “As police officers, if we left our family, our environment, 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, for Rivers State. It is wake-up call against the barbaric act. In this 21st century, a man that is not a criminal, that his only call was to come to sanitise society; that you should stop killing your fellow human beings, kidnapping your fellow human beings, destroying people’s property. That was the only crime.”
While thanking the rights advocate for the visit, he added, “It is a very painful time for us in the Command for losing one of our best hands.”
He thanked Governor Siminalayi Fubara for the N100m bounty placed on the prime suspect, Gift Okpara Okpolowu, and his members for anyone that could provide information that would lead 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 sad incident, which underscored the solidarity protest.
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 sympathize with the whole team.
While alleging that some politicians were sponsoring criminal gangs, he said such characters must be identified and prosecuted.
Recall that dare-devil cultists had last Friday ambushed SP Angbashim and his men in Odiemudie community, Ahoada East LGA during a raid on criminal hideouts.
But after hours of exchange of bullets, his men ran out of ammunition and fled, leaving their boss who the state police spokesperson, Grace Iringe-Koko, said ‘stood firm’ to confront his assailants.
Unfortunately for the gallant cop, he too exhausted his bullets and was injured while trying to escape, leading to his capture, as the cultists cut of his head, arms and manhood, sang victory songs and went on to film his decapitated remains.