A Nigerian militant group on Monday demanded the release of its leader in return for setting free an Indian sailor along with five foreign crew members of a chemical tanker.
Nigerian main militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), sought release of its leader Henry Okah for medical treatment abroad.
Responding to an email inquiry by the PTI about the wellbeing of the hostages and a recent hyped amnesty deal with some militants by Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, spokesman of the group Jomo Gbomo said, "We have not entered into any amnesty deal with Yar'Adua, but they are well and will be released as soon as Henry Okah travels out of Nigeria for medical attention."
Okah was extradited in 2007 from Angola and was on trial for treason but the Nigerian government has promised to set him free as early as today. His anticipated release is part of the government-militants amnesty deal.
The Nigeria's Joint Task Force (JTF) had claimed to recover the hijacked chemical tanker 'Sichem Peace' seized by the militants in the Niger Delta region on July four and launched a manhunt to secure the release of six hostages including Indian sailor Banjit Singh Dhindsa.