Simon Ekpa

Fact-Checker: Did Finland Give Simon Ekpa 48 Hours To Reverse Sit-at-home Order?

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There are reports that Nigerian Finnish lawyer and agitator, Simon Ekpa, who leads a splinter agitation group in Southeast, was given a 48-hour notice by the Finnish Government to “desist” from issuing sit-at-home and other “terrorism acts” in Nigeria or face arrest and extradition.

A letter purportedly written to him by the Finnish Government and signed by the Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Mirella Marin, was said to have directed Ekpa to: “Call off your “planned sit-at-homes by pronouncing through the same media outlets you used for your illegal pronouncements, a reversal of your sit-at-home orders.”

Recall that PBA had reported that Igbos in the diaspora had protested activities of Simon Ekpa  and his imposition of sit-at-home in Southeast Nigeria from his base in Finland, leading to bloodshed and loss of properties.

READ ALSO: IPOB Crisis: Igbos In Diaspora File Criminal Charges Against Simon Ekpa In Finland

Prime Business Africa also reports that officials of the Federal Government had had cause to protest what they said was Simon Ekpa’s terrorism conduct to Finnish officials without positive outcomes.

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Ekpa from his exile in Finland, has been issuing sit-at-home orders through Internet radio and social media platforms leading to panic and attendant loss of lives as millions of naira are lost by businesses and governments of southeast states.

The said letter by the Finnish PM  dated February 15  purportedly informed Simon Ekpa that he has “48 hours to reverse course or you will be arrested and charged with international terrorism. I have directed my Attorney General, Raija Toiviainen, to ensure that my directive is immediately carried out.”

However, checks by Prime Business Africa could not confirm the authenticity of the said warning to Simon Ekpa.

Simon Ekpa on his social media denied receiving any letter from the Finnish PM and described those “peddling the rumour” as “criminals.”

Will Finland ever act on Simon Ekpa?

Recall that Nigerian government has summoned Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, over threats by Simon Ekpa to disrupt  the 2023 general elections in the Southeast.

Pylvanainen had promised that Finland would not trade its relations with Nigeria for anything, suggesting that the Finnish government would act on the concerns of the Nigerian government, especially as he said it had been 60 years of excellent relationship.

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Although Pylvanainen agreed that Simon Ekpa’s activities were of serious concern to Finland he said the country would be watching to see how the situation aligns with its legal framework.  According to Ibrahim Aliyu, special assistant to the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, the Finnish envoy told his host that Finland was interested in ensuring that Nigeria holds free and fair elections.

Pylvanainen, however, said that Simon Ekpa has dual citizenship – Nigeria and Finland.

“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,” said Pylvanainen.

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This newspaper will, therefore, bring you updates once the Finnish government confirms the authenticity or otherwise of the purported letter circulating 24 hours after Ambassador Pylvanainen spoke to the Nigerian government.

In the interim, we advise millions of our trusted readers to constantly rely on for authentication of news on Business and Political Economy in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.

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Uduegbunam Chukwujama
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