A 33-year old Nigerian lawyer, Akeem Ajimotokan, who works with Columbia University in New York as a procurement officer, was found in a coma yesterday in the trunk of his car, his hands bound behind him with tapes and a part of his ear chopped off.

The New York Police Department found Mr. Ajimotokan after the would-be robber of his BMW car ditched the car after an accident and fled the scene.

NYPD officials said that Akeem's assailant, an ex-convict, Barion Blake,  specializes in stealing BMW cars and had spent time in various jails in the area before his latest crime.  Mr. Blake is still on the run.

Police sources said evidence found at the back seat of Akeem's car shows that Blake was trying to steal his fully loaded  BMW M3 coupe which he'd pretended he wanted to buy for $46,000 according to a bill of sale found in the car.

Akeem is listed in critical condition in Harlem Hospital in New York.

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