Kidnappers who abducted four journalists in Nigeria's oil-rich south a week ago released them on Sunday without a ransom being paid, the head of the reporters' union and police said.
Police met up with the journalists after their release, Leman said, and they were making their way out of a remote area in Abia State.
Abia State police spokesman Ali Okechukwu confirmed the release.
"The journalists have been released. They are with us right now at the police headquarters in Umuahia, hale and hearty," he told AFP.
Okechukwu refused to give details of how the newsmen were freed after seven days in captivity, saying the head of the country's police Ogbonna Onovo would address the issue later on Sunday.
"We are expecting the IG (Inspector-general of police) to give a press conference on the matter shortly," he added.
A police special task force combed the forests and bushes of Abia State for days in search of the journalists who were abducted on July 11 while returning from a conference in nearby Akwa Ibom State.
The journalists are Abdulwahab Oba, NUJ chairman in Lagos, Sylva Okereke, the union's assistant secretary, Adolphus Okonkwo, a regional secretary of the union and Shola Oyeyipo, a Lagos-based radio reporter.
The kidnappers initially demanded a ransom of 250 million naira (1.6 million dollars, 1.3 million euros) before the journalists could be released, but they later reduced it to 30 million naira.
Okechukwu said no ransom was paid.
Kidnappings occur frequently in Nigeria's south, but oil workers have traditionally been the victims.
The abduction of the journalists illustrated a widening of the target profiles in recent months and sparked outrage across Nigeria.
Officials and media rights groups, including global organisation Reporters Without Borders, also called for their immediate release.
The kidnappings were the second involving journalists in the volatile region this year.
In March, three M-Net Supersport television crew members -- a South African and two Nigerians -- were seized in Imo state, which neighbours the oil hub of Rivers State. They were freed about a week later.
While many of the kidnappings of oil workers have been claimed by militants who say they are seeking a fairer distribution of oil revenues, other abductions have been carried out to collect cash through ransom payments.
Source: AFP Global Edition