Some yet to be identified gunmen have kidnapped a Chinese contractor at Igbemo Ekiti, in Irepodun Ifelodun LGA, Ekiti State.
The incident, according to police sources, occurred on Tuesday evening and his whereabouts has not been ascertained by security operatives.
The Chinese is one of the experts supervising the construction of the Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo-Ijan road.
It was gathered that the expatriate was intercepted by the gunmen while driving in a Hilux Van and forcefully taken away to an unknown destination.
This is coming three months after a similar incident occurred in Ekiti, where two expatriates were taken hostage by bandits along Ado-Iyin Road.
Confirming the incident, on Wednesday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Sunday Abutu, said the operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) had launched a manhunt for the kidnappers.
“Our RRS men swung into action immediately the news was broken,” he said.
“They are combing all the surrounding bushes and we are sure that the abductee will be released soon.”
‘Merchant’ Navy officers arrested
Meanwhile, four persons, who posed as operatives of the proscribed Nigerian Merchant Naval Corps have been arrested in the state.
The suspects were picked up when they visited the office of the Chairman of Irepodun/ Ifelodun Local Government, Shina Ogunleye,
The suspects, who were armed and wearing naval uniforms, were rounded up at the headquarters of the council at Igede Ekiti.
Mr Ogunleye, who confirmed this to journalists via a telephone call, said the four men were nabbed by the ”combined forces of Police and men of the State Security Services, who acted on a tip-off from the council boss.”
He described the action as a kidnap attempt, ”which was averted due to the quick intervention of the security operatives”.
“Before they came to my office, they had earlier called and with the way they spoke, I suspected a foul play and I had to inform some higher security officials in the state who tutored me on what to do,” he said.
“When they called me the second time, I gave them an appointment for 9 a.m. on Tuesday. When I was informed by my secretary that they had arrived, I immediately contacted the State Director of DSS and the Police Area Commander in charge of Ido/Osi and Irepodun Ifelodun local governments.
“I arrived the office around 10 a.m. and as I was entering my office, they wanted to follow me but they were prevented from gaining entry until the DSS and police operatives numbering 20 arrived the scene.
“The security asked them some pertinent questions, but they could not answer appropriately. It was then we realised that they were fake officers and that they came for a sinister mission.
“They had been arrested and taken to the police headquarters for further questioning.”
But the police spokesman, Mr Abutu, said preliminary investigation revealed that the arrested men were impersonators.
Mr Abutu said the suspects said they were in Ekiti to set up a base of their security outfit in Igede Ekiti, which he described as a breach of the law, saying the body they claimed to represent had been disbanded by the federal government.
“They are being detained and they will be charged to court soon,” he said.