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Police Intensify Search For Fouani After Abduction on Lagos Waterways, ‘Kidnappers Demand $1.5m’ 

Fouani and three othersq were kidnapped on Lagos waterways. Police have confirmed the abduction and have commenced a search.

The Lebanese Managing Director of Fouani Group, Mohamed Fouani and three other persons of Lebanese descent were kidnapped around Ikoyi on Lagos Waterways Friday.

Fouani  is a multinational electronics distributor that represents LG and Hisense among other brands in Nigeria.

According to sources, they were travelling from Apapa to Victoria Island by boat when the incident occured around Falomo Bridge.  

The kidnappers have reportedly asked for $1.5 million in ransom. The company itself has not issued a statement on the incident. However, the Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the abduction Fouani.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed that the command was already aware of the incident.
“We got the report and we are looking into it,” he said, without giving details.
However, speaking anonymously, a senior police officer said the police were not ruling out any angle in their investigation- whether it was a targeted or random abduction.
He said: “At the moment, we have the basic facts but we are investigating. I wouldn’t want to divulge the facts at our disposal; so, we don’t jeopardise their safety.
“I also wouldn’t want to toe the line of a disgruntled employee or employees but be rest assured that we are not leaving any stone unturned,” he said.
Reacting on the alleged ransom asked by the kidnappers, he also insisted that while it’s advisable not to pay, most families are expectedly desperate to receive their loved ones safe and sound and would always oblige the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the Marine Police are said to have intensified patrol of the waterways following the report of the abduction.
A marine police officer debunked claims that the waterways have been porous, especially at night.
According to him, the backwaters and even up to the Fairway Bouy have not been left unprotected as both the Marine Police and even small patrol crafts of the Nigerian Navy routinely patrol that axis.
He said: “This is why I said we are investigating whether it was a random abduction or it was planned because our waters are always patrolled.
“This is not the era of sea or river blindness anymore because the government at federal and state level have really equipped the relevant authorities in terms of infrastructure and even platforms for patrol of the waterways,” he added.

Lagos, in Nigeria’s southwest, is generally considered one of the safest parts of the country and is home to many of the business and political elite, as well as expatriates and diplomats. This is true especially for the highbrow Ikoyi neighbourhood, with Banana Island widely considered as home to the African continent’s most expensive real estate.

Chiemelie Ezeobi

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