A Sri Lankan national was abducted during a brazen kidnapping operation at the boundary of Ondo and Kogi States in Nigeria. The man, identified by Sri Lankan embassy staff as Mr. Karunaratna, worked for an Italian-owned construction company and has lived in Nigeria for more than 10 years.
Sahara Reporters correspondent gathered that Mr. Karunaratna was on his way to a "construction deal" at the Kogi and Ondo boundary when he was abducted.
It was learnt that the police escort attached to Karunaratna's vehicle was overpowered by the kidnappers in the process, and was immediately murdered by the assailants.
His driver, identified has Bitrus Dada, also sustained serious injury as a result of the attack and is presently recuperating at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo in Ondo state.
SaharaReporters correspondent gathered that the kidnappers have been demanding a huge ransom before he could be released, but officials could not confirm the amount.
A source working at the Sri Lanka embassy told SaharaReporters on Wednesday that the kidnappers have been in communication with Karunaratna’s family.
"The kidnappers have phoned his family and are demanding huge sum of amount before he would freed."
An embassy official told Sahara Reporters that “he is in good physical health, but under a lot of mental stress.”
The source further disclosed that the embassy has also reached out to the police in the two States of Ondo and Kogi to intervene for the quick release of the victim.
"The embassy is communicating with the Police Commissioners, and all the Police stations in the area have been put on alert," the official said.
The Ondo State Police Spokesperson, Oluwole Ogodo confirmed the abduction but denied that the incident happened in Ondo State.
Ogodo said Mr. Karunaratna was kidnapped in Kogi State and promised to get back to our correspondent at a later hour.
The Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo in Ondo state, Olufemi Omotosho, hung up on Sahara Reporters when contacted.