In a significant development in the murder case of SP Bako Angbashim, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ahoada Division in Rivers State, several suspects have been arraigned at the State High Court in Port Harcourt. The late SP Angbashim was gruesomely murdered on September 8, and among those arraigned were the former chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Area, Mr. Cassidy Ikegbidi, and over 50 other suspects. They face charges including murder, attempted murder, cultism, armed robbery, and kidnapping.
During the court session, the defendants’ counsel requested bail, but the prosecution opposed it, citing the severity of the charges. The presiding judge, Sika Henry Apirioku, after hearing both sides, ordered the suspects to be remanded at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre. The case has been adjourned to November 21, 2023, for plea and consideration of bail.
The murder of Angbashim was allegedly carried out by a notorious gang of “Iceland” cultists, reportedly led by one Gift David Okpara, aka 2Baba.
The recent court proceedings in the murder case of SP Bako Angbashim represent a critical juncture in the pursuit of justice in Rivers State. The arraignment of over 50 suspects, including a former local government chairman, underscores the complexity and gravity of this case. It also highlights the pervasive issue of cultism and its detrimental impact on society.
The decision to remand the suspects, pending further legal proceedings, is a prudent measure given the nature of the charges. It ensures that the suspects remain in custody while the legal process unfolds, thereby maintaining the integrity of the investigation and the safety of the community. This case is a stark reminder of the challenges law enforcement faces in tackling organized crime and cultism, which often have deep-rooted connections within communities.
The involvement of a former local government chairman in the case, if proven, would be particularly alarming. It would indicate a dangerous intertwining of criminal activities and local politics, undermining the rule of law and public trust in governance. This case could catalyze more rigorous scrutiny and accountability of public officials.
The handling of this case is a test of the judicial system’s ability to address serious crimes effectively and fairly. Justice must be served not only for the late DPO Angbashim but also as a deterrent against the proliferation of cultism and violence. The outcome of this case will be closely watched as a barometer of the state’s commitment to law and order.
Did You Know?
- Rivers State, located in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, is often associated with oil production but also has a rich cultural heritage and diverse ethnic groups.
- Cultism in Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta region, has a long history and is often linked to socio-political issues and youth unemployment.
- The Nigerian correctional system, including the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre, plays a crucial role in the country’s criminal justice process, focusing on rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders.
- The concept of remand in custody is used in legal systems to keep suspects detained while awaiting trial or further legal proceedings, especially in cases involving serious crimes.
- The role of the judiciary in Nigeria is pivotal in upholding the rule of law and ensuring fair and impartial administration of justice, especially in high-profile criminal cases.