Kidnappers free father of Nigerian World Cup skipper

Mikel John Obi (Getty Images)
Mikel John Obi (Getty Images)

Abuja - The father of Nigerian Soccer World Cup skipper John Obi Mikel who was kidnapped last week has been freed, police said on Tuesday.

"Michael Obi, the father of the (Super) Eagles captain, has regained his freedom," the spokesperson for Enugu state police in southeast Nigeria, Ebere Amaraizu, said late on Monday.

Amaraizu said the senior Obi's captors did not hurt him after seizing him at gunpoint last Thursday evening in Enugu, but they forced him to walk for about 5km barefoot in heavy rain.

He said the Eagles skipper paid a ransom of 10 million naira (about $28 000) to obtain the release of his father, who is in his sixties.

No arrest has been made but police are on the trail of the abductors, he said.

Obi senior has been kidnapped once before, in the central city of Jos in 2011.

Kidnapping of prominent and rich people and their families is common in southern Nigeria. The victims are usually released unhurt after a ransom is paid.

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