Kidnappers free doctor’s children after killing mother

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The children of Philip Ataga, a Kaduna-based medical doctor, who were kidnapped in January, have regained freedom

Sunday Ogwu, a Facebook user who said he has been in touch with the family, announced the development on Thursday.

The children, identified as Christabel and Jasmine, were abducted alongside Bola, their mother, from their residence at Juji near Sabon Tasha, Chikun local government area of Kaduna.

The kidnappers had demanded N150 million ransom for their release but killed Bola after the family failed to pay the money.

They subsequently demanded N20 million for the release of the children. Ogwu said the children were released after their father paid an unspecified amount in ransom to the kidnappers. “To the glory of God, I have the honour and privilege to announce the release of Christerbel and Jasmine Ataga from captivity. Their release was secured after the payment of ransom to the bandit by Dr Philip Ataga,” Ogwu wrote on his Facebook page. “I wish to un- behalf [on behalf] of the family thank everyone: the churches, prayer houses, family members, friends and well wishers, whose physical, emotional and psychological support were put at the disposition of the family in what has been two weeks of a very traumatic experience.” Journalist could not get Yakubu Sabo, spokesman of the Kaduna state police command, to comment on the force’s role in securing the children’s release as calls placed to him were not answered.