Nigerian Ipob faction leader Simon Ekpa was detained in Finland

Paul Ekpa

The BBC has confirmed that the controversial leader of a Nigerian secessionist movement has been detained at his home in Finland.

Simon Ekpa allegedly called for a boycott of the Nigerian election on Saturday and incited violence on social media.

He is the leader of a division of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob), a group vying for a separate state in southeast Nigeria.

The government of Nigeria had requested Finland take action against him.

Helsingin Sanomat, a prestigious newspaper in Finland, reported that one of its reporters saw Mr. Ekpa being led out of his home by police while he was on the way to interview him.

From February 23 through the day after the election, Mr. Ekpa had called for a sit-at-home demonstration.

Mr. Ekpa was one of the "media warriors" of Ipob, according to a BBC investigation in 2022, who were allegedly using social media to incite violence.

When the BBC contacted him for comment, he remained silent.

According to Mr. Ekpa, his organization is "in a revolution and visible state of war.".

In December of last year, he had also demanded a five-day stay at home period, warning those who disobeyed to "blame" themselves "for whatever that happens" to them.

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