Mother of Nigerian Finance Minister Freed from Kidnappers
[An Nahar] The elderly mother of Nigeria's finance minister was on Friday freed from kidnappers after being kidnapped from her home in the country's south last weekend in a crime that shocked the country, police said.

Details of the release were unclear and there was no indication of whether a ransom was paid to free the 82-year-old Kamene Okonjo, whose daughter Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a high-profile minister and ex-World Bank managing director.

"She has been sprung," police front man Frank Mba told Agence La Belle France Presse. "She is in good health." He declined to provide further details other than to say that she was freed earlier Friday.

The minister's front man issued a statement confirming the release, but also without providing further details.

One local television station reported that the mother had been dropped off from a cycle of violence on Friday morning, but the information could not be immediately confirmed.

Kamene Okonjo was kidnapped Sunday at her home in Delta state in the country's Niger Delta region, where ransom kidnappings occur regularly.

Local media reported that a gang of gunnies went to the house -- locally called a "palace" due to her husband's position as a traditional ruler in the area -- in broad daylight in the afternoon.

When Kamene Okonjo, a professor, went outside to offer drinks to laborers carrying out work around the front gate, the gunnies emerged from hiding and seized her.

Some reports said one of the suspects went inside to steal her handbag. The victim's husband was said to have been away.

Posted by: Fred 2012-12-15