Simon Ekpa, the leader of IPOB Autopilot and a separatist for Biafra, was detained by the Central Criminal Police of Finland and released hours after questioning.
Ekpa, a self-described follower of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the barred Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, had been issuing threats to residents of Nigeria’s southeast.
The threats have since crippled economic activities in the region, as people became scared of making a living as a result of the threats.
Insisting that there will be no elections in the southeast, Ekpa had warned the people in the east to abstain or face punishment.
“The Finnish Police has reportedly arrested the pro-Biafran separatist agitator, Simon Ekpa, over his threats of no elections in Nigeria.
“Ekpa had threatened that any person in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria who tried to participate or vote in the 2023 elections scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 25 would be ruthlessly dealt with.
“Ekpa was reportedly picked up from his apartment in the Lahti region of Finland by officers from the Finnish Central Criminal Police yesterday morning.”
Confirming the story yesterday, the Media Officer of the Finnish Embassy in Abuja, Ema Edem, said: ”Yes, the arrest of Simon Ekpa as reported in Helsingin Sanomat, a Finnish newspaper, is true.”
In response to the arrest, IPoB declared that it was unnecessary to speak about the person who had been making every effort to destroy it.
Emma Powerful, IPoB’s secretary for media and publicity, stated that the organization had no comment on the arrest of “someone it has been stating is not working for its benefit.”
According to Powerful, “Whoever has a case should go and answer his case; IPoB has no business reacting to the arrest of somebody that has been working hard to destroy its name”.
Who’s Simon Ekpa?
After the rendition of the IPOB leader, Simon Ekpa, a self-described disciple of the imprisoned Nnamdi Kanu, entered the picture.
It was stated that Simon Ekpa had been chosen to succeed Nnamdi Kanu as the chief presenter of Radio Biafra while Kanu was imprisoned.
But shortly after, IPOB disengaged Ekpa, citing his refusal to sign the rules of engagement of Radio Biafra.
IPOB’s Spokesperson, Emma Powerful in a statement announced: “The global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, ably led by our great leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has observed with regrets that Mazi Simon Ekpa whom our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu gave an appointment and duty to start broadcasting on Radio Biafra doesn’t want to follow the laid down rules of operation in Radio Biafra.
“Mazi Simon Ekpa has refused to sign the rules of engagement and code of conduct guiding those broadcasting on Radio Biafra. We don’t understand why Mazi Ekpa would not like to follow the steps of other broadcasters on the platform who have since done the needful.
“IPOB is a big movement, and cannot just change the rules because of one individual as this may set a bad precedence. Mazi Simon Ekpa is a hardworking Biafran whose immense contributions towards the restoration of Biafra are highly appreciated, but for not signing the code of conduct as a broadcaster on Radio Biafra, he may not continue to have the opportunity of broadcasting via the platform.
“This decision was not intended to ridicule or undermine anyone but to prove to all that due process cannot be compromised in IPOB. IPOB is a well-structured movement where the activities of members are regulated with well-thought-out rules. No one should act in a way that suggests that the laws are meant for a certain group of people.
“While Mazi Simon Ekpa has the right to make his broadcasts on Facebook and other platforms of his choice, he may no longer broadcast on Radio Biafra as one of the official broadcasters.”
Ekpa announced his disengagement, but he wouldn’t back down. Since then, he has been at odds with some IPOB leaders and has continued to highlight the group’s separatist activities on his social media platforms.
Ekpa was born on March 21, 1985, based on the information that is currently accessible. He is from the Ebonyi State LGA of Ohaukwu. He describes himself as a controversial agitator as well as a human rights advocate, politician, attorney, and CEO of Ekpa & Coy, a company that represents clients in immigration and asylum cases in Finland.
He was a post-graduate student instructor in the department of law and criminology, according to his LinkedIn page.
He listed his participation in two Finnish political roles. He claims to be the vice-chairman for building/construction works and the environment in the same region as well as a member of the Lahti, Finland, transportation board.
He declared on Facebook in October that his nomination as a candidate for the National Coalition Party Kokoomus, a political party in Finland, had been authorized for the regional government elections.
Ekpa was also mentioned in some web sources as a member of the Finnish military reserve, and he also bragged about his “world-class” military education.
He is married and has a kid.
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