Some assailants on Sunday night attacked and injured the Managing Director of Maersk Shipping Line Nigeria, Gildas Tohouo, in his Lagos, Ikoyi home, and also stabbed his Hungarian wife to death at the family’s residence in highbrow Ikoyi area of the state.
Tuhouo who was said to be critically injured, is receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in Victoria Island. The deceased, a Hungarian named Bernadett Kurucz, had a career with APM Shipping, and Lite-On, according to information she published on her Facebook page.
Maersk is an integrated container logistics company that prides itself as “connecting and simplifying trade to help our customers grow and thrive”. The company has a team of over 76,000 operating in 130 countries.
Although the couple were at their Lugard home with their three kids, the assailants did not harm the children. As at press time, two of his domestic staff, alleged to have connived with the intruders, have been arrested.
According to the police, the suspects, Olamide Goke and Ade Akanbi, were found with the knife suspected to have been used during the operation.
Reacting to the incident, the company in a press statement signed by one Richard Smith, confirmed the incident. Quoting David Williams, Regional Managing Director of Africa for A.P. Moller – Maersk, Smith said: “We are very sorry to confirm that a colleague and his family have been attacked in their residence in Lagos, Nigeria.
“Tragically, the wife of our colleague passed away at the scene. Our colleague is in the hospital, where his condition is critical, but stable. The three children are all safe and accounted for. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy goes to the family. We will do whatever we can to support them in this tragedy.
“The relatives of the family are in the process of being notified. Relevant authorities are investigating the incident. Maersk is supporting the investigation in every possible way,” he said.
Tohouo, a Cameroonian, is in charge of the Danish company’s operation in Nigeria. It was gathered that Tohouo and his wife were locked up during the attack on Sunday night. The wife, who was reportedly asked to transfer money to the assailants, was later threatened to drink a toxic substance.
While the attack was ongoing, Tohouo reportedly placed a call to the chief security officer of his company, who led policemen to the scene of the crime. The attackers were said to have gained entrance into the building through an electrician, who has since been arrested.
The Lagos police spokesperson, Bala Elkana, did not respond to enquires on the development yesterday except to confirmed the incident, saying Tohouo and his wife were stabbed.
“The wife died and he is still alive and responding to treatment. Those who carried it out are in our custody. One of them is an electrician in the estate, who was assisted by his friend. Their aim was to steal from the man. They were there to rob,” the police spokesperson said.
Tohouo, who has been a long term employee of Maersk, serving in Guangzhou, China, Cameroon, was appointed into the position as managing director in Nigeria in 2016. He also oversees Maersk’s operation in Benin, Niger, Togo and Ghana.
He is a multi-linguist, speaking English, French and German. After a Masters degree in Economics and applied management, he also attended the Maersk International Shipping Education.