Nigerian-Finnish Biafran agitator, Simon Ekpa has been arrested in Finland by the Finnish Police.
Ekpa has been on the news following his order to boycott election in South-East region of Nigeria. The self-acclaimed freedom fighter in different social media videos asked his foot soldiers to enforce the order.
According to Finnish daily Helsingin Sanoma Ekpa was arrested by the country’s police. The outlet said Simon Ekpa was taken into custody by plainclothes police officers shortly before he was due to be interviewed by a filmmaker at his residence in Lahti, southern Finland.
It was not immediately clear why Mr Ekpa was arrested or when he would be released, but the paper said the separatist provocateur was likely to face prolonged interrogations, with officers saying they were only doing their job on the matter.
The arrest comes as Mr Ekpa, 37, intensifies an attempt to frustrate the Nigerian presidential elections scheduled for February 25 focusing on the people of South-East region.
The Federal Government had through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, over activities of Simon.
Reacting, Pylvanainen said that while they are watching to see how this fits into the legal framework of Finland, the personality in question is a double citizen and there is a need to take his rights into consideration.
She described it as an irritant in the relations between Nigeria and Finland which are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations this year.
“This is something I want to make very, very clear. Finland condemns all violence and incitement to violence in all its forms. Political aims, of course, should be pursued through political means only. That is very clear,” she said.
“It stems from the fundamentals of our actions, it’s enshrined in our constitution, and we do really underline our support and the importance we see for these elections not only for Nigeria, but for the entire region. So we’re with you very much on that.
“We share very much the concerns regarding the security situation in the southeast? Yes, there are problems in other parts of the country as well. But this is an issue that we are directly concerned with. This is an issue we have been discussing, we share the concerns. We have discussed the matter and as I mentioned, our law enforcement agencies are in touch and are cooperating.
“We do have this irritant, as you call it on our bilateral agenda. And it is a topic on which we have been cooperating, our authorities have been cooperating, there have been contacts between the law enforcement agencies of Nigeria and Finland on this topic.
“We’ve had several discussions here in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which we do appreciate very much, because you said this is an issue of national concern to Nigeria nationally, but it is very much a concern for us as well.
”Finland of course, as a member of the EU has been part and parcel of these efforts. We have our own long term observers on the ground at the moment. We are very much interested in the safe and secure conduct of these elections throughout the country.
“Information has been shared, and we hope for more of that in order for all authorities to do their job and that is to investigate really what is going on and to see how this fits into the legal framework of Finland, because we are of course speaking of a Finnish citizen.
“Also, he’s a double citizen as far as I know of Nigeria and Finland, and he’s therefore as you rightly said, protected and safe and sound in his home in Finland. But we have to take his rights into consideration as well. So everything has to obviously be done according to Finnish legislation, which has very strong protections for freedom of speech.
“But of course, stipulations against hate speech and incitement to violence for us, the situation is really of concern on three accounts, even you could say it is of concern. Most of all, of course, on the ground in the Southeast, but also what we have seen over the recent weeks.”
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