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September 15, 2015

Kidnapped Nigerian journalist Donu Kogbara has been freed

By David Knowles

A Nigerian journalist who has contributed to the Sunday Times has been released after being kidnapped on 30 August.

Donu Kogbara was released on Friday night and has returned to her home in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Kogbara has worked for The Sunday Times, the BBC, Channel 4 and The Daily Mail.

She was kidnapped from her home by gunmen.

The Vanguard Newspaper reported that she told journalists: “I am very happy to say that I have been released. I am alive, that is all that matters despite all the things that were lost in the robbery that preceded the abduction.

"I thank Vanguard Newspaper, my paper, for the love and support that I received from my colleagues and Uncle Sam Amuka, the publisher. He was actually the first person called when I was abducted.”

She reportedly laughed as she remembered how much her kidnappers had asked for ransom.

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“I told them I was not worth what they demanded for.”

Kogbara said that she did not think her kidnappers were politically motivated: “I don’t see any politician behind the mask. I have to tell you that these boys claimed they had helped certain politicians win elections in the past but that is not what we can discuss here. I don’t know if you can believe what they say.’

“I saw politics here and there. They had a grudge against a former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, for not supporting Goodluck Jonathan but then they also had a grudge against the current governor.

"Actually, in the end, they told me it was a war against big men; to them, big men are politicians. They called them official hoodlums”.

Police Commissioner,  Musa Kimo, was quoted in the Vanguard: “Today is a great day. I am extremely happy. My joy knows no bounds because our sister, Donu Kogbara, is back with us. It is due to the mercy of God.

"I thank the President of the country, my Inspector General of Police who kept calling to guide me. I thank the media for their role, the family for their faith in God. Finally, she is back with us, today is my greatest day. I am very happy”.

Local news reports do not say whether a ransom was paid.

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