In what was described as the act of undermining the effort of the Lagos State Government to ensure security of lives and properties in the state, a group of gunmen on Monday evening kidnapped an expatriate engineer working with Granebury Construction Limited in Epe area of the state. The expatriate was kidnapped at the project site of the multi-million-naira dualisation of Epe-Ijebu expressway and rehabilitation of some strategic, arterial and inner-city roads in Epe Local Government Area at large. The kidnappers are yet to demand ransom.
Consequently, the state Police Command launched rescue operations, which it said, was directed at safely securing the release of the expatriate and arresting the perpetrators of the abduction. An Epe resident, who spoke with THISDAY yesterday, anonymously, said the police command had stationed armoured personnel carriers (APCs) at the project site and other strategic locations across the local government.
Aside the deployment of APCs to strategic locations, the resident added that the police command also launched aerial surveillance in Epe and its environs in a bid to rescue the kidnapped expatriate. At the press time, the police had not had much breakthrough in securing the release of the kidnapped expatriate, whose identity had not been released. However, the police has been in serious manhunt for the kidnappers.
In a text exchange with journalists, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mrs. Dolapo Badmus confirmed the abduction of the expatriate, of whom she said, rescue operation was ongoing to secure his release. In a phone conversation, however, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Ganiyu Johnson, declined to comment on the incident, noting that it was unethical for him to grant interview on phone. He said it “is unethical for me to grant an interview on phone because I do not know you.
Aside, you can also misrepresent me. So, you can get in touch with the Public Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Works.” Although his identity had not been disclosed, THISDAY checks showed that the expatriate was one of the top engineers of Granebury Construction Limited currently redeveloping the Epe-Ijebu road dualisation project, the site from where the expatriate was abducted on Monday evening. Due to outright neglect the Nigeria Police had suffered, the state government had been providing strategic support to the state police command its Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) in the last decade.
Since its establishment by a law of the Lagos State House of Assembly on September 3, 2007, the LSSTF had raised N3.260 billion in cash and N9.201 billion in assets, totalling N12.462 billion. But with the upsurge in armed robbery and other sundry crimes, Ambode invested N4.756 billion to procure the security equipment, which according to LSSTF statistics, brought what the state government had invested in funding security agencies in the last decade to N17.218 billion.