A plan by the Bayelsa State Police Command to give a mass burial to the corpses of the 12 policemen killed by armed men on April 5 may have hit the rocks, following the intervention of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar.
SaharaReporters has gathered that the Command has been inundated with demands by the families of the slain officers for the bodies of their relatives. They were, however, turned down by the commissioner, Kingsley Omire, on the grounds that the identity of the deceased officers could not be determined as the bodies, which were burnt in the attack, were also decomposing.
According to sources, the IGP and other top police officers at Headquarters insisted that a medical examination must be conducted on the mutilated bodies to ascertain their individual identities.
To that extent, the IGP sent a team of pathologists from Force Headquarters, headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, to conduct the examination.
"The IG has ordered medical investigations to know the identities of persons killed by the gunmen,” the source said. “The IG is against burying them in a mass grave despite the fact that their bodies were burnt beyond recognition."
SaharaReporters has further learned that the inquiry has already commenced.
A team of 50 policemen on escort duties in Bayelwa waterways was ambushed on April 5 by militants who opened fire and killed 12 of them. Their ill-fated boat was heading to Azuzuama, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, for the burial of the mother of Mr Kile Torughedi.
Torughedi, an ex-MEND commander is now a Special Assistant to the Bayelsa Governor on Maritime Security. Most of his former boys oppose that appointment.