From Tony John, Port Harcourt

The Rivers State Police Command has announced the discovery of the remains of Superintendent of Police, SP Bako Angbashim, a former Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in the Ahoada Division, who was murdered by suspected cultists.

The command’s relentless efforts to unravel the circumstances surrounding his death, led this crucial development, according to police authority on Wednesday.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Grace Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police (SP), disclosed that on Sunday, March 10, 2024, a coordinated joint operation was carried out by tactical squads from the Rivers State Police Command and personnel from the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB).

Iringe-Koko said the operation targeted the camp of the deceased cult leader, Gift Okpara, famously known as 2Baba, situated within the forested region of Odiemude Community in Ahoada East Local Government Area.

She explained that diligent search efforts led to the discovery of a burial site within the gang’s shrine, where the remains of the slain Police Officer, SP Bako Angbashim, were located and subsequently exhumed.

According to the Command’s spokesperson, the exhumed remains included the skull of the deceased.

She disclosed that the recovered remains had been taken to the mortuary, where they would undergo scientific examination and genetic testing.

The PPRO revealed that the tests aimed to establish the identity of the remains through a meticulous comparison with samples obtained from the late officer’s relatives.

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Iringe-Koko revealed that efforts were underway to locate and retrieve the remaining dismembered parts of SP Angbashim’s body, suspected to have been buried at various undisclosed locations within the forest.

It would be recalled that 2Baba, the leader of the gang responsible for this heinous crime, met his demise on February 17, 2024, during a planned assault executed by the Rivers State Police Command in collaboration with other security agencies.

The cult kingpin died in Ebrass, Ahoada West Local Government Area, but unfortunately, his gang members managed to escape with his body.

Following an intensive seven-day search, aided by credible intelligence, 2Baba’s body was ultimately recovered from a shallow grave in the Ebrass forest.

Meanwhile, State Commissioner of Police, CP Olatunji Disu, on behalf of the Rivers State Police Command, has commended the unwavering dedication and resolute commitment demonstrated by the officers involved in the operation.

The Command also extended its gratitude to the community members for their invaluable support throughout the investigation process.

The police said that the Command will continue to prioritise the safety and security of all citizens, adding that the personnel remain determined to apprehend the remaining members of the gang.

The PPRO added that the State Police Command remains steadfast in its mission to uphold peace, security and justice within the state.

She promised to regularly update members of the public on the progress of the investigation on 2Baba’s gang as developments unfold.