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Kidnappers Free Mother of Nigeria Finance Minister

Kidnappers freed the 82-year-old mother of Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala five days after she was abducted from her home in the southern state of Delta, a police spokesman said.

“She is in good health,” Frank Mba, a spokesman for the federal police, said by phone today from Abuja, the capital.

The army arrested 63 people linked to the kidnapping of Kaneme Okonjo in the town of Ogwasi-Ukwu where she was seized, Rose Managbe, a Nigerian army spokeswoman, said by phone late yesterday from the southern commercial hub of Onitsha. Two police officers were also detained for alleged negligence in the abduction.

Okonjo-Iweala, who became finance minister for the second time in August 2011, has worked to reverse expansionary budgets and backed President Goodluck Jonathan’s move to cut a subsidy on gasoline in January. Under her tenure, the ministry also rejected unverified subsidy claims by gasoline importers.

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