Engineer Francis Collomp who had been held hostage in Nigeria ‘fled his captors’ French President Francois Hollande has revealed.
It is understood the 63-year-old slipped out of his prison cell and flagged down a motorcycle taxi which took him to a police station.
A police official told one media source that Collomp had fled the prison in the town of Zaria to where he had been moved three months ago. No ransom had been paid he said.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius who was with President Hollande on a state visit to Israel was flying to Nigeria to receive Collomp
In September he was seen asking for help in a video released by his captors who seized him when they stormed his compound in December 2012 in the northern Nigerian town of Rimi.
Ansaru, an Islamist group possibly related to the Nigerian group Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, citing the role of France in Mali.
A diplomatic source said he was weak, had lost weight but was not injured.