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IPOB Factional Leader Simon Ekpa Arrested, Released By Finnish Police

Simon Ekpa, a factional pro-Biafra separatist agitator was arrested by Finland Authorities but later released on Thursday.

Simon Ekpa, a factional pro-Biafra separatist agitator was arrested by Finland Authorities but later released on Thursday.

Ekpa had called for a stay at home in Southeast geopolitical region of Nigeria during the upcoming general elections, threatening to visit violence on anyone who dare shun his instructions.

The Nigerian government subsequently promoted sanctions again him from his host country Finland.

There has been continuous agitation by a group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for independent State of Biafra with the lead agitator, Nnamdi Kanu still detained by the Nigerian government.

His arrest was effected on Thursday by Finland authorities.

The Helsingin Sanomat (largest newspaper in the Nordic countries) reported that the the police escorted the separatist out of his apartment in Lahti.

Hours later, Helsingin Sanomat reported that the Finland-based Biafra agitator had been released by the Finnish police after hours of questioning.

Although Tommi Reen, an officer from the Central Criminal Police, did not state the identity of the suspect in custody, he confirmed the raid on Ekpa’s apartment to HS.

Reen, however, said the suspect was released after a few hours of questioning, adding that investigation is ongoing.
The platform earlier said that they had gone to Ekpa’s residence for an interview but to their surprise, the Finland police, KRP, answered when the HS team rang the separatist bell.

The HS said the KRP prevented their team from entering Ekpa’s apartment and said that the interview would be moved “to the future”.

“It is our understanding that he is currently in police custody in Finland,” the official who is not authorised to speak to the press was quoted to have said.

“According to information available to us, the image is verified by Helsingin Sanomat, a Finnish newspaper; in it, Ekpa is seen being escorted out of his home in Lahti by plainclothes Finnish police”, the official said.

Before his eventual arrest on Thursday, Nigerians all over the world had signed a petition appealing to the Finnish government, Nigerian Government and the European Union to arrest Ekpa, the brain behind the sit-at-home order in the South-East.

An official at the Embassy of Finland in Abuja, Nigeria who spoke anonymously to our correspondent confirmed the arrest of Ekpa.

He said: “I can confirm that it is indeed our understanding, based on the news report by Helsingin Sanomat (largest newspaper in the Nordic countries) that Mr Ekpa was taken in for questioning earlier today from his home in Lahti.

“Finnish police do not however, as a matter of principle, give out information of the identities of persons being questioned. The photo is verified by Helsingin Sanomat as showing Ekpa being escorted from his home by plainclothes police.”

The official at the embassy, said the disinformation about airport arrest, Interpol and Israel in some of the published report should be disregarded, insisting that: “Those are all false.”

Recently, Ekpa declared that there will be no elections in the south-east zone of Nigeria.

Aside from the threat to elections, the Finland-based Nigerian had insisted that people of the south-east region must observe sit-at-home every Monday to protest the detention of Kanu.

The sit-at-home directive has been reportedly linked to killings in the south-east.

However, the leadership of IPOB through its spokesperson, Emmanuel Powerful, had distanced the group from the sit-at-home order issued by Ekpa.

Michael Olugbode in Abuja