Seven expatriates kidnapped by suspected militants along Idundu Bridge in Calabar have been released unhurt. This was disclosed to SaharaReporters by the Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Jimoh Ozi-Obeh
Ozi-Obeh, who spoke on phone while on his way to Abuja, said the kidnapped expatriates were released early Sunday morning without payment of any ransom. However, he declined to disclose where the expatriates were released. Ozi-Obeh said the success of the rescue exercise was due to the combined efforts of the security agencies and the support of the state government.
The released persons, consisting of three Australians, two Ghanaians and a South African were kidnapped last Wednesday while on their way to a cement manufacturing company, La-Farge Holchim, located at Mfamosing, a suburb of Calabar. They are employees of MacMahon Construction Company, a contracting firm work at the Mfamosing plant of the United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited.
A source, however, told our correspondent that the kidnapped victims were released with injuries. He also disclosed that following the abduction, expatriates have stopped going to work at the cement plant for fear of being abducted.
The source, who said he could not explain why the victims were all injured, added that they have been taken to a hospital for treatment. “All the seven of them were released in the early hours of today with injuries. Nobody knows why they were injured but they are receiving medical attention. “I learnt that the foreigners have all left Calabar for Lagos, pending when the security situation will improve. "Those that were kidnapped had armed police escort, who fled, leaving the expats to their fate,” the source disclosed.
But the Cross River State Security Adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji, who also confirmed the release of the abducted workers, denied that the victims sustained injuries.