Nigerian 'mastermind' arrested over Kiwi's kidnapping

Nigerian 'mastermind' arrested over Kiwi's kidnapping

The alleged kingpin in the abduction of seven mining contractors including a Kiwi in Nigeria has reportedly been arrested.

Samuel Asuquo was taken into custody by Nigeria's secret service at Nasarawa Bakoko village in Cross River State late last month, local media report.

It's alleged he masterminded the abduction on June 22, in which the group's Nigerian driver was shot dead on the outskirts of Calabar around 5:30am (local time).

Along with the Kiwi, three Australians, a South African and two other Nigerians were also part kidnapped group. Another Australian managed to get away from the attackers.

The men worked for Perth-based mining company Macmahon Holdings, which mines material for processing at Lafarge Africa's UniCems cement plant at Mfamosing, in Nigeria's southeast.

The men were later released, with Nigerian police saying at the time no ransom was paid.

But a statement from the country's State Service Department seems to counter that.

"Asuquo was the mastermind of the kidnap of three Australian staff of Lafarge Cement Company, for which his gang received ransom of 150 million naira (NZ$641,915)."

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been helping the man's family at the time, but on Tuesday told Newshub they have "had no further involvement or information" on the situation.