Nigerian police rescue abducted footballer Obodo

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Lagos
Nigeria and Lecce's Christian Obodo

Nigerian police have rescued Christian Obodo without the payment of a ransom demanded by his abductors.

Officers tracked his alleged abductors to Isoko, just outside Warri, on Sunday, where they found Obodo and arrested some suspects.

The midfielder was abducted by unknown gunmen near the oil city of Warri in southern Nigeria on Saturday.

The kidnappers had issued a ransom demand for nearly US$200,000 (£129,000).

Obodo, who was on loan at Italian side Lecce from rivals Udinese last season, was driving alone early on Saturday morning when he was abducted.

It is not the first time a footballer has been kidnapped in Nigeria.

International defender Onyekachi Apam was kidnapped by armed men who took his car before releasing him.

Nornu Yobo, elder brother of Everton defender Joseph, was famously kidnapped in 2008 in oil-rich Port Harcourt.

Nornu was released after 10 days but it was never made clear whether a ransom was paid.

Last year, the father of Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi was also seized in Jos, north-central Nigeria.

Nigerian police, however, rescued Micheal Obi senior from his abductors days later.