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By ESPN Staff

Kidnappers contact Mikel family

Contact has been made with the kidnappers of Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel's father, according to reports in Nigeria.

• Mikel appeals for dad's safe return

The alarm was raised when Michael Obi, who runs a transport company, failed to return home from work in Jos, the capital of Plateau State in central Nigeria, on Friday.

Mikel, who was told the news on Saturday but chose to play in Chelsea's goalless draw with Stoke the following day, appealed for information on the whereabouts of his father and the family have now been contacted by the kidnappers.

Mikel's brother Ebele Obi said in quotes reported on Supersport: ''Some people called my mum informing her that they have her husband in custody. My mum, while crying, pleaded with the abductors to release her husband. They asked her to go and look for money but declined to state how much.''

Tony Obi, eldest son of Michael Obi, confirmed their father's car had also been retrieved.

''We got two calls from the abductors who confirmed that our father is in their custody,'' he said. ''They told me where to locate my dad's car, which has been found, but I do not want to disclose the location for now.''

Ebele Obi added: ''We have heard our father's voice. At least we now know that he is alive. The family is happy, relieved but still we plead with the abductors to release our father.''

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