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Kidnappers free mother of Nigerian finance minister

From Vladimir Duthiers
December 14, 2012 -- Updated 1236 GMT (2036 HKT)
(File photo) Nigeria's finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala addresses the media on March 23, 2012 in Pretoria, South Africa.
(File photo) Nigeria's finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala addresses the media on March 23, 2012 in Pretoria, South Africa.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The mother of Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is freed
  • Kamene Okonjo was abducted five days ago from her home
  • Okonjo is well and in good health, a police spokesman says
  • It remains unclear who her abductors were or what their motive was

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) -- The mother of Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been released by her kidnappers, five days after she was seized from her home, Nigerian police said Friday.

Kamene Okonjo is well and in good health, police spokesman Frank Mba told CNN.

"The Okonjo Family is full of thanks to the Almighty for this happy development," a finance ministry spokesman said in a statement.

Read more: "Massive manhunt" for captors of Nigeria's finance minister's mother

Okonjo, an academic who is reportedly in her 80s, was abducted on Sunday from her home in Ogwashi-Uku, in Delta State.

The kidnapping sparked what officials described as "a massive manhunt."

It remains unclear who her abductors were or whether their motive was financial or political.

The U.S. State Department warns U.S. citizens against travel to Delta State, among others, because of the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks.

Okonjo-Iweala has sought to push through reforms and tackle corruption while in office.

She lost her bid in April to become the next president of the World Bank -- the first ever challenge to the U.S. nominee in the institution's history.

CNN's Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.

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