Kamene Okonjo was released early on Friday, December 14. Eighty-two years of age, she is the mother of Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Few details are available concerning the exact chain of events. Following her December 9 kidnapping, her captors demanded a substantial ransom. The Nigerian authorities do not discuss whether or not ransoms are paid in kidnapping cases. However, Delta Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan said there had been no negotiations, no ransom was paid, and that he thought the kidnappers released her because they were being pressured by the security services who conducted the pervasive search for Mrs. Okonjo. The Nigerian press quotes the army as saying it arrested sixty-three people in conjunction with the kidnapping. Read more »