Obi Mikel's father free after 10-day kidnap ordeal
Tuesday 23 August 2011
John Obi Mikel's father has been released by the kidnappers who abducted him 11 days ago, the Chelsea midfielder's agent confirmed last night. Local police said five suspects had been arrested.
After Michael Obi was abducted in central Nigeria on 12 August, Mikel received a "sizeable" ransom demand, but despite this continued to play for Chelsea and made public appeals for his father's safe return. Michael is thought to have been found in Kano, 180 miles north of where he was abducted
"I was taken in an isolated area in Jos," said Michael. "I started begging them, yet they beat me mercilessly. There were five of them and they were dressed in military uniforms. They pushed me into a vehicle and began to drive very fast."
Kano police commissioner Ibrahim Idris said a team of officers had arrested five suspected kidnappers after a raid.
Mikel's management company SEM issued a statement confirming Michael's release. "SEM are delighted to confirm that Michael Obi called his family to advise them that he had been released. John Obi Mikel would like to thank everyone in Nigeria, his family and friends, Chelsea FC and their fans for their total support during this terrible time."
In London, the Valencia winger Juan Mata was undergoing a medical after Chelsea agreed a fee of £23.5m. The club said the deal was subject to Mata agreeing personal terms and passing the tests. PA
Latest in Sport
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far: No place for Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
Chelsea's best XI of the season so far: Petr Cech has been better than Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Manchester City's Jesus Navas are the three best attacking midfielders in Europe in 2015
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 3 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 4 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 5 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers