Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Mikel Obi's father found alive and freed in Kano



Police spokesman Olusola Amore told The Associated Press that investigators followed Michael Obi's trail from central Nigeria's Plateau state to Kano, one of the nation's largest cities. There, officers raided the area where Obi was held, freeing him and arresting a number of kidnappers, Amore said.

Amore said he had other details about the operation on Monday night.

Michael Obi was kidnapped on Aug. 12 while on his way home from work in the central Nigerian city of Jos.




Officers raided a neighbourhood in the Nigerian city Kano on Monday where they found Michael Obi and arrested five suspects.
Obi was kidnapped on 12 August as he travelled home from work in the city of Jos, around 200 miles away from Kano.
He told reporters: "I started begging them but they beat me mercilessly. They kept me in a terrible place."
The BBC's Yusuf Ibrahim Yakasai said Obi's face showed signs of the beatings that he says he endured during his ordeal.
"I was taken right deep into the bush, in an isolated area in Jos", Obi said.
"There are five of them and they were dressed in military uniforms. They pushed me into a vehicle painted in military colours and began to drive very fast. I never knew a vehicle can fly like that."
Mikel's management company Sport Entertainment & Media Group (SEM) said in a statement: "Earlier today Michael Obi called his family to advise them that he had been released by his abductors.
"John Obi Mikel would like to thank everyone in Nigeria, his family and friends, Chelsea FC and their fans and his agents for their total support during this terrible time."
During the time of his father's disappearance, Mikel continued playing for Chelsea - starting matches against both Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion.
On Friday, Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas hailed the "amazing mental toughness" shown by the midfielder in the wake of his father's kidnapping.
A Chelsea statement said: "Mikel has shown outstanding commitment and professionalism during this most difficult of times, and the club will continue to offer its full support to him and his family."
It isn't the first time a football player's family has been targeted in Nigeria. In 2008, gunmen abducted the younger brother of Everton defender Joseph Yobo as he left a nightclub in Port Harcourt, the delta's largest city. The brother was released unharmed about two weeks later, though it was unclear if a ransom had been paid.
Michael Obi's abduction came after a Forbes magazine survey in June listed Mikel as the seventh highest-paid African player in Europe. The magazine listed Mikel's salary as $5.8 million a year.

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