From Molly Kilete Abuja
Police Force Headquarters in Abuja, yesterday, announced the release of Deputy High Commissioner of Sierra Leone in Nigeria, Major-General Alfred Claude Nelson William (retd), who was kidnapped along Abuja-Kaduna, road about four days ago.
The police, in a statement issued last night said Williams, who was rescued at about 4:00pm, yesterday, has reunited with the commission and his family.
The statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Don Awuna, said: “The Deputy High Commissioner of Sierra Leone in Nigeria, Williams, who was kidnapped along Abuja-Kaduna has regained his freedom and reunited with the High Commission and his family. He was released at about 16:00hrs of 5/7/16 along Abuja- Kaduna road
“Following credible intelligence and technical support, there was intense police activities on both land and air patrol within the area. The general is feasibly in good condition.”
The statement further stated that “Inspector General of Police (IGP), Idris wishes to assure members of the Diplomatic Corps and other foreign nationals of their safety and security in Nigeria.”
Williams was kidnapped last week on his way from Abuja to Jaji in Kaduna State for the graduation ceremony of Senior Course at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC).
Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, was equally at the graduation ceremony.
Command and Staff College’s Senior Course graduation ceremony is an annual event, which marks the end of a 12-month training for senior military officers, majority of whom are drawn from the three services of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other ECOWAS countries, including Sierra-Leone.
Reports indicated that the envoy was kidnapped before he got to Kaduna.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that the kidnappers demanded a $40 million ransom.
Workers at the Sierra Leone embassy said the kidnappers contacted them to demand $40 million to release Williams, a former chief of Sierra Leone’s army. The workers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to newsmen.