Sierra Leone Diplomat Kidnapped In Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Sierra Leone Diplomat Kidnapped In Nigeria

Posted: Jul 2, 2016 at 9:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Sierra Leone’s deputy high commissioner has been snatched in Nigeria, government sources said Friday, the first kidnapping of a diplomat from the west African country in more than half a century.

Alfred Nelson-Williams was taken as he was travelling by road from the Nigerian capital of Abuja north to attend a ceremony in Kaduna, a city some 200 kilometres (125 miles) away.

Local security officials said they were still investigating how the kidnapping took place.

“We want to establish whether he had security escorts with him and what happened to them,” Kaduna state security official Yusuf Yakubu Soja told AFP.

“He was kidnapped on his way to Kaduna from Abuja to attend the passing out ceremony of military officers at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Jaji outside Kaduna.”

Sierra Leone’s information minister Mohamed Bangura said the government was working with Nigerian authorities to secure Nelson-Williams’ release.

Neither he nor police could confirm whether the kidnappers had demanded a ransom.

Kidnappings are common in Nigeria, where the rich and powerful drive bulletproof cars and even hire military and police chaperones as protection from highway bandits.

Foreign ministry sources in Freetown told AFP that “this is the first time that a Sierra Leone diplomat has been kidnapped anywhere on posting since independence in 1961”.