A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt has remanded 75 individuals, including a former Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Area, Cassidy Ikegbidi, and Royal Father Eze Ekpeye Logbo, over their alleged involvement in the murder of the District Police Officer (DPO) of Ahoada Police Division, SP Bako Angbashim.
The suspects, facing charges related to conspiracy to murder and sponsorship of cultism, were apprehended following the brutal killing and decapitation of SP Angbashim by cult groups operating in Ahoada East Local Government Area, reportedly led by David Gift Okpala Okpolowu, popularly known as 2baba.
The court proceedings, captured in charge sheet number PHC/3208/CR/2023, saw the Commissioner of Police arraigning the defendants, who refrained from entering a plea. The bail application by one of the defendant’s lawyers, Dejo Lamikara, faced opposition from the prosecuting counsel, Superintendent of Police Eniyepere Sikpi.
Justice Sika Apirioku, the trial judge, after considering the arguments, ordered the remand of the defendants to the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre. The case has been adjourned until November 21 for plea and bail consideration.
Meanwhile, the Ekpeye Youths Worldwide and the National Union of Ekpeye Students have voiced their concerns over what they perceive as the politicization of the killings in their region. Adokiye Oyagiri, Secretary General of Ekpeye Youth Worldwide, and King Ngozi, President General of the National Union of Ekpeye Students, condemned the alleged involvement of a sponsored group, Concerned Ekpeye for Peace and Development, in making incendiary statements against Hon. Edison Ehie, the representative of Ahoada East Constituency II in the State House of Assembly.
Oyagiri emphasized the importance of addressing insecurity while cautioning against baseless allegations that lack substantiation. The community leaders called for an end to the politicization of the tragic events unfolding in Ekpeye, urging a focus on genuine efforts to enhance security and justice in the region.