Press Group Seeks Release Of Kidnapped Journalist In Nigeria

A media rights group called Thursday for the immediate release of a senior Nigerian journalist kidnapped from her home in the restive oil hub of Port Harcourt.

Unknown gunmen abducted Donu Kogbara, a renowned columnist for the independent Vanguard newspaper on Sunday.

The motive for her capture was not clear.

"We condemn the kidnapping of Vanguard columnist Donu Kogbara and call on Nigerian authorities to launch an immediate and efficient investigation," Peter Nkanga, West Africa representative of the New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a statement late Wednesday.

The press group urged Nigerian authorities to do their utmost to find Kogbara, establish a motive for the abduction and apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators.

It said Kogbara had worked for Vanguard newspaper for some 30 years, as well as for the BBC, Channel 4 and the Sunday Times and the Mail.

Kogbara's columns have often been criticized by readers for her strong opinions, CPJ said, adding that she had tacked wrongdoing in the previous administration.

"In July, Kogbara called for employees of former President Goodluck Jonathan who were allegedly returning money they had stolen to be "rounded up, one by one, and arrested, named, blamed, shamed, and jailed," it said.

Port Harcourt where Kogbara was abducted is the hub of the oil-rich Niger delta, where kidnapping for ransom is common.

Most victims are set free unharmed once the ransom has been paid.

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