Slain Rivers DPO: Court releases monarch, 42 others

Slain Rivers DPO: Court releases monarch, 42 others

A High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has discharged and acquitted a traditional ruler, Kelvin Anugwo, over the killing of the late Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada East Division, Bako Angbashim.

Also, acquitted alongside the monarch are 42 others standing trial over the crime.

The accused persons were standing trial on a four-count charge of cultism, armed robbery, murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.

Over 50 persons were arrested and arraigned after Angbashim was captured, killed and his body dismembered by notorious cult leader, late David Okpara, known as 2Baba, and his gang members in the Oduemude community in Ahoada East local government area of the state in September 2023.

In Friday’s hearing the Director of Public Prosecution, C.F. Amadi, told the court that the accused persons have no prima face case established against them, hence, have no case to answer.

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Justice Sika Aprioku, relying on the advice from the office of the DPP discharged and acquitted the accused over the killing of Angbashim.

Speaking with pressmen after the verdict, counsel to one of the defendants, Ekashie Emehi, said the ruling proved that the accused are innocent.

The counsel expressed dismay that his client was arrested in the guise of an invitation.

“He was arrested in the guise of an invitation that the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations wants to see him and he was arrested on a Sunday,” Emehi said.

“Now as far as this matter is concerned, what it means by a prima face case not being established means that the person is not connected to that case.

“So on that note is free and he has his full liberty to handle his affairs and would no more come back to this matter.”

Reacting after he was released the monarch, Anugwo, described the ruling as justice for the people of the area.

“All the allegations levelled against us have been thrown out today. So we give God all the glory. Our victory today is hinged on the hands of God, not human beings.

“What it means is that the kingdom should be happy that today God has vindicated us, and as such they can be proud that they have a king that stands by the truth.”

The late 2baba who was the prime suspect in the murder of the late DPO was killed during a joint security raid in one of his hideouts in Idu-Ekpeye community in Ahoada East LGA.

His body was later exhumed from a shallow grave in a forest where his gang buried him and was paraded before newsmen at the State Police Command headquarters in Port Harcourt.

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