Police apprehend captors

Obi Mikel's father released after kidnap

August 22, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

The kidnapped father of Chelsea's John Obi Mikel has been freed after his captors were located by police in Nigeria.

John Obi Mikel: Was advised to stay in England as elder brother Emeka tries his best to handle the affair
GettyImagesJohn Obi Mikel: Was advised to stay in England while police dealt with matter of his father's capture

Michael Obi had been kidnapped on August 12 while on his way home from work in the central Nigerian city of Jos, but was found on on Monday in the northern city of Kano. Police arrested those suspected in the kidnapping.

His son's agents, SEM, released a statement on Twitter. "SEM are delighted to confirm, that earlier today Michael Obi called his family to advise them that he had been released by his abductors," it read.

"SEM have waited until now to release this information, to ensure that Michael was safe. John Obi Mikel would like to thank everyone in Nigeria, his family & friends, Chelsea FC & their fans & his agents for their total support during this terrible time. A full statement of the situation will be released by SEM tomorrow morning."

Obi Senior told the BBC that he had been kidnapped in Jos before being transferred to Kano. "I am very stressed," he told them.

BBC reporter Yusuf Ibrahim Yakasai has said that Michael Obi's face shows signs of the beatings endured during his ordeal.

Mikel continued to play for Chelsea during his father's disappearance, appearing in the Blues' Barclays Premier League opener at Stoke before their home 2-1 win over West Brom on Saturday.