Simon Ekpa, a pro-Biafra protester, was apprehended by Finnish security forces.
According to the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, Ekpa was arrested at his home in the Lahti region of the country on Thursday.
The separatist has frequently stated that there will be no elections in the country’s South-East region and has insisted on a sit-in every Monday in the region to protest the detention of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The killings in the South-East have been consistently linked to the area’s sit-in.
However, IPOB has distanced itself from Finland-based Ekpa, who was apparently scheduled for an interview prior to his detention.
Matilta Jokinen, a journalist with Finland’s national news agency Helsingin Sanomat, was reported in the story as saying Ekpa is in the hands of security officers.
Jokinen stated that she went to Ekpa’s house to interview him and encountered security officers upon her arrival.
According to the journalist, the police did not reveal the reason for Ekpa’s arrest.
“I went to interview him this morning. When I reached his house and knocked, the police told me that I could not interview him for work as they and the person I came to interview was Siomn Ekpa is in their hands.”
Ekpa’s detention comes just days after the Nigerian government filed a protest with Finnish authorities about abusive social media messages.
The breakaway IPOB leader has regularly issued sit-in orders across the South-east, asserting that no election will be held in the region in 2023.
The presidential election is set to take place on Saturday, February 25, followed by the governorship and state house of assembly elections on Saturday, March 11.
Ekpa has declared a sit-in from February 23 to February 28, ostensibly to prevent the region from holding general elections in 2023.
He said that the sit-at-home orders and the postponement of the 2023 elections in the region will promote his IPOB faction’s goal of establishing a sovereign state of Biafra in Nigeria’s Southeast and South-South.
Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, met with the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, last week to discuss the threats made by the factional IPOB leader.
At the meeting, Onyeama conveyed his discontent with Ekpa’s recent sit-at-home directives to his horde of followers, which he said resulted in killings, maiming, burning, and other destructive activities.
He said Ekpa’s action was fast becoming a threat to the forthcoming election, and that the Nigerian government would not take it lightly with him and the Finland government if nothing drastic was done to curtail his threats.