Kidnapped Customs Officer, Family Members Regain Freedom

ncsInformation Nigeria has learnt of the release of the customs officer and seven members of his family who were abducted last month along Borno-Adamawa border by their captors.

Mr James Pallam, a Lagos-based customs officer, his wife, five children and his cousin were returning from a wedding ceremony in Maiduguri on 7 April 2013, when they were abducted by gunmen in police uniform.

Their release on Sunday follows  series of negotiation between their captors and officials of the Nigeria Customs Service.

According to a source, they arrived at their village, Pellam, in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State midnight Sunday.

“Their journey to freedom started at 4pm on Sunday from unknown location,” he said. “They arrived at the same spot where they were kidnapped between Bama and Pulka, known as Frigi, at 9pm after a long drive through the bush. They arrived in Pallam at midnight to a tumultuous welcome,” the source added.

He said they were all hale and hearty and that they were not maltreated by their captors.

The source also disclosed that the abductors had given back the customs officer his Mitsubishi jeep but that they withheld his mobile SIM card.

However, it is unclear whether any ransom was paid before their eventual release. Efforts to get the reaction of the customs spokesman – Wale Adeniyi, were unsuccessful as he did not respond to calls made to his phone.

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