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CBN governor confirms wife kidnapped, released

03 October 2016, 06:29

Abuja - Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor on Saturday confirmed his wife had been kidnapped and held for 24 hours before being freed, in the latest high-profile abduction.

Godwin Emefiele said in a statement that he "thanked God Almighty for the life of his dear wife, who was rescued on Friday night", praising security agencies for their swift action.

The governor's wife, Margaret Emefiele, was seized on the road from Benin City in Edo state, to Agbor, in neighbouring Delta state, on Thursday, according to a federal police source.

"Five other persons were kidnapped along with her," said the source. "They are her driver and four other women with whom she was travelling."

Security officials secured her release at about 12:30 am on Saturday and she was taken to the Delta state police headquarters in Asaba. The other four people were also freed.

Governor Emefiele described the experience as "harrowing" and pledged to do his job "diligently and with all his heart, without any fear of intimidation".

Also read: 2 priests found dead after being kidnapped in Mexico

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) boss has been in the job since March 2014, replacing Lamido Sanusi, who was dismissed after claiming the state-run oil firm had not remitted $20 billion in revenue.

But he has had to face the fall-out from an oil-dependent economy hit hard by the global fall in crude prices, which has led Nigerian into recession, weakened it currency and sent inflation spiralling.

The rise in the cost of living has made life difficult for the majority of Nigerians, many of whom live in poverty despite the country's historic oil wealth.

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, particularly in southern states. Wealthy Nigerians and expatriates are often targeted and released after several days.

Previous targets include an elderly uncle of former president Goodluck Jonathan, the brother and sister of his oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the mother of his finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

All were later released or rescued.



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