Briton Kidnapped in Nigeria ReleasedJuly 22, 2013 in Africa, Nigeria
The British High Commission has confirmed that a man, who was kidnapped by gunmen on Friday shortly after landing at the international aiport in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, has been released.
On Friday, Wale Adebayo, spokesman at the Deputy High Commission in Lagos, indicated that “there was a kidnapping of a Briton and we are working with the Nigerian authorities.” He had declined to provide further details, including the day the attack occurred. A private security source familiar with the incident indicated on Friday that the British man had been abducted on Tuesday while travelling into the city after landing at the airport. According to the source, the attackers opened fire on the vehicle and “the driver was injured by a gunshot,” before the Briton was seized. There is typically heavy traffic well into the night on most of the roads that lead from the airport in the Ikeja neighbourhood towards central Lagos. However it currently remains unclear where the attack occurred or whether there were any witnesses nearby.
Today, Mr. Adebayo stated that “we can confirm the release of the British national…following his abduction on July 16. The man was released on Sunday and no comments have been made on whether a ransom payment had been made.
The kidnaping for foreigners for ransom is common in Nigeria, particularly around the oil-rich southern coast. There has also been a rise of such incidents occurring in Lagos. In March of this year, a British man, working for the French energy company CGG, was kidnapped in the upscale Victoria Island area of the city. He was released days later. However officials refused to confirm reports that a ransom had been paid for his release. In the oil-producing Niger Delta region, foreigners working in the oil sector are often released following an armed abduction. Their employers and officials typically do not reveal details about ransoms. Foreigners have also been kidnapped in the northern regions of the county, however those attacks are considered difference and have been blamed an Islamist extremists. A Briton was amongst seven foreigners kidnapped in February of this year from a construction site in the northern Bauchi state in an attack that was claimed by the Islamist group Ansaru. Ansaru later posted a video that appeared to show the corpses of some of the hostages. In 2010, 28-year-old Briton Chris McManus was abducted along with an Italian national, Franco Lamolianra, in the northern Kebbi state. They were both killed in the northwestern Sokoto State nearly a year later amidst a rescue operation which had been jointly planned by British and Nigerian authorities and authorized by British Prime Minister David Cameron. That attack was later blamed on Ansaru, a group which is seen as being an offshoot of Boko Haram.