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Nigerian Self-Acclaimed Separatist Leader, Simon Ekpa, Arrested in Finland

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Simon Ekpa's Arrest ⓒhs.fi

Plainclothes policemen in Finland have arrested self-acclaimed Biafra separatist leader, Simon Ekpa in the city of Lahti.

He was arrested at home Thursday morning and would be interrogated over an undisclosed crime.

Nigeria had asked the Finnish government to intervene in Ekpa’s activities on social media which influences actions in Nigeria’s South East region.

Last week Tuesday (14 February) the foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyema invited the Finnish Ambassador, Leena Pylvanainen, over threats by Ekpa to stop the 2023 General Election in the region.

Ekpa, who prides himself as the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra since the arrest and detention of its erstwhile leader Nnamdi Kanu, has repeatedly declared sit-at-home orders across the South East.

He has also insisted that there would be no election in the region, declaring a sit-at-home from 23 to 28 February in an apparent bid to stall the 25 February presidential vote.

It is unclear if Ekpa’s arrest is connected to Nigeria’s request as the police refused to disclose his crime to a local news website, HS, which witnessed the moment he was taken by the police.

The HS team had gone to Ekpa’s home in Lahti for an interview but was prevented by a team from the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation known as the Keskusrikospoliisi (KRP).

KRP advised the interview be moved “to the future.”

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is pushing for the secession of South East Nigeria.

Its leader, Nnamdi Kanu has been in detention since his arrest in Kenya in June 2021.

Ekpa declared himself as the group’s leader following Kanu's incarceration but not every IPOB member recognizes his authority.

He has been issuing commands from his Finnish base, most of them promoting violence and disregard for authority in South East Nigeria.


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