KIGALI, Rwanda — Two journalists were released by their captors in Nigeria’s southern region, a week after being kidnapped while working on a production for South African satcaster SuperSport.
South African sound engineer Nick Greyling and Nigerian soccer commentator Bowie Attamah were freed Monday night, according to a statement made by the satcaster’s parent company, MultiChoice Africa, on Tuesday. A third employee, cameraman Alexander Effiong, escaped from his captors last week.
The three men were taken hostage after gunmen attacked a bus carrying the crew in Imo state. They had been covering a soccer match for SuperSport and were abducted on their way to the airport.
South African and Nigerian officials refused to comment on details of the negotiations that led to the journos’ release. Caroline Creasy, of Multichoice Africa, said her company did not negotiate with the kidnappers.
“M-Net paid no ransom,” said Creasy. “We dealt directly through the Nigerian police.”
But AFP reported that a ransom of 15 million naira ($100,000) was paid after an initial demand of $800,000 was refused.
Kidnappings are common in Nigeria’s turbulent Niger Delta region, where foreign oil workers are frequently abducted and held for ransom.