Rivers Police break silence, confirm death of cult kingpin 2Baba


Gift and some of the items recovered from his camp

By Okafor Ofiebor

The Rivers State Police Command on Monday confirmed the death of Iceland Secret Cult kingpin, David Gift Opara, popularly known as 2Baba.

2Baba and his gang were responsible for the brutal murder of SP Bako Angbashim, the Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division five months ago.

There were reports at the weekend that 2Baba might have died during a gun battle with the police when they raided his camp, but the police could not confirm his death.

But Rivers Police Command spokeswoman, SP Grace Irige-Koko, while given update on the effort of the police so far to capture 2Baba and others on Monday, confirmed that he had been killed.

According to Irige-Koko, on February 17, 2024, at around 12:00hrs, 2Baba and his gang attacked Okogbe town and Odiokwu community, destroying pipelines.

She added that “At 04:00hrs, operatives raided 2Baba’s new camp. Despite a fierce gun battle, 2Baba and his gang members escaped. However, at around 14:00hrs, intelligence confirmed 2Baba’s death after he lost consciousness and resuscitation attempts failed.

“Efforts are in progress to retrieve the body of the infamous killer, while investigations into the Iceland cult’s activities in the region continue.”

Giving details of police efforts so far, Irige-Koko explained that in response to the heinous murder of SP Bako on September 8, 2023, in Odiemude Community, Ahoada-West LGA of Rivers State, the law enforcement agencies, including the police, military, and relevant stakeholders, had been unwavering in their commitment to apprehending the culprits and ensuring justice is served.

“Viral videos revealing the brutal murder of SP Bako and the brazen display of weapons identified 2Baba and his gang, affiliated with the Iceland Secret Cult. A manhunt ensued, with the Rivers State Government and Nigeria Police offering a 100 million naira bounty for any credible information leading to 2Baba’s arrest.

“Upon assuming office as the Commissioner of Police for Rivers State on November 15, 2023, CP Olatunji Disu conducted an operational tour to Ahoada local government, where the late DPO was murdered. The Commissioner urged officers to intensify efforts in apprehending those responsible for the gruesome killing.

“He also paid respects to the five innocent individuals—Charles Osu, Ogbobula Eja, Idaowukwa Felix, Paul Victor, and Achinivu Saturday Edi—who were tragically killed by 2BABA and his gang on suspicion of collaboration with the police. May their souls rest in peace,” she explained.

The police spokeswoman added that the operation adhered to the philosophy of policing by consent, where police authority relied on public consensus rather than force.

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She said during the operation, more than 70 suspects tied to SP Bako’s murder were arrested and prosecuted, but said 2Baba and his gang managed to escape arrest by withdrawing into the forest, exploiting the difficult terrain and strategically placing informants to monitor security forces’ movements.

Irige-Koko said undeterred, the police formed specialized teams, coordinating with the Army, Navy, Air Force, DSS, and NSCDC in joint security meetings, saying a resolution was reached, declaring that an attack on one agency was an affront to all, reinforcing their united pursuit of justice against the perpetrators.

She explained that on November 28, 2023, at 1600hrs, Commissioner of Police, Disu, formed a special joint operation involving Tactical Units and the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) to apprehend the wanted suspect, David Gift Okpara (alias 2BABA), and his associates. The operation aimed to capture those responsible for the murder of SP Bako Angbashim and recover their weapons and ammunition.

“On November 29, 2023, a female associate of 2BABA was arrested , offering valuable insights into the fugitive’s lifestyle. On December 3, 2023, information revealed that 2BABA frequently visited a nearby community via canoe. Despite a two-week surveillance for an ambush using human intelligence (HUMINT), he abruptly stopped visiting, seemingly aware of the proposed operation to be launched.

“On December 6, 2023, 2BABA executioner, Faithful Babinghton Joseph, seen wielding an AK47 in a viral gang video, was arrested at his Etche LGA hideout. He died from a gunshot wound sustained during a failed escape attempt. On December 13, 2023, another female associate of 2BABA was apprehended.

“On December 15, 2023 (0100hrs), an attack was launched against 2Baba, but he evaded capture due to information provided by his network of informants in various communities, but said hiss camp was subsequently destroyed, prompting him to relocate.

On December 23, 2023, operatives arrested a nurse and an informant who provided information to 2Baba leading to the killing of five individuals in his community. The nurse also facilitated logistical support for 2BABA’s gang, including food, illicit drugs, water, and gathering information on police activities. Both suspects are currently facing legal proceedings,” she disclosed.

Irige-Koko added that on December 31, 2023, a multi-agency attack was launched on 2Baba’s camp, resulting in his narrow escape and subsequent relocation.

“From January 19, 2024, operatives successfully deployed advanced technology, revolutionizing their approach to the operation and gathering crucial intelligence.

“On February 1, 2024, it became clear through continuous surveillance that 2Baba strategically selected a campsite with difficult terrain to discourage land-based attacks, necessitating the use of canoes to reach the location. On February 10, 2024, the command shared essential information with the Air Force. Around 19:30hrs on the scheduled day, the Air Force executed an aerial assault, causing significant casualties and injuries to 2BABA and his gang,” she said.

Irige-Koko, however, said the Rivers State Police Command remained resolute in its duty to protect the lives and property of the citizens, and would continue to employ all necessary resources and strategies to ensure a safe and secure environment for all.

Items recovered from 2Baba’s camp are: one AK47 rifle, G3 rifle, scorpion rifle, double barrel locally made gun, two locally made pistols, one cut-to-size double barrel gun, one bullet proof vest, 13 pieces of Dynamites, five rounds of .9mm live ammunition, army camouflage, assorted charms, one human skull and one jack knife.


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