Simon Ekpa, infamous pro-Biafra separatist agitator, has been released by the police in Finland, hours after he was arrested and grilled on Thursday, according to the Finnish news outlet, Helsingin Sanomat. Earlier in the day, Ekpa was escorted out of his apartment in Lahti by Finnish policemen. Finnish Central Criminal Police confirmed Ekpa’s release on Thursday. The police claimed Ekpa’s arrest was in connection with the ongoing preliminary investigation. “The person being questioned today is suspected of a crime. We will return to the title on Friday,” Tommi Reen from the Central Criminal Police told HS during a phone interview. Ekpa, a self-acclaimed disciple of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, had repeatedly ordered the people of the South-East to observe a sit-at-home and asked them to boycott the country’s general elections billed for Saturday.

The Defence Headquarters said troops of Operation Whirl Punch have apprehended one of the masterminds of the 28 March 2022 terrorist attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train service. Defence spokesperson Major General Musa Danmadami made this disclosure at the military’s bi-weekly news briefing in Abuja. Danmadami said the suspect was one of the three terrorists apprehended by troops at Damba community in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna on 14 February. He said the operation led to the recovery of two motorcycles, mobile phones, the sum of $5,000, other currencies and some sundry items. According to him, troops on fighting patrol also neutralised seven terrorists at Ungwan Birni in Kajuru Local Government Area. He said 83 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 50 rounds of 7.62mm special, and seven magazines, amongst other items, were recovered.

Two people have been reportedly killed and five others injured in communal violence in Chereponi District in Ghana’s North-East Region. The injured include an officer with the Ghana Armed Forces. The incident happened on Thursday morning at Wenchike. The violence is said to have spread to six other communities. According to reporting from JoyNews, scores of houses and household granaries were set ablaze. Dozens of residents were reportedly leaving for the district capital. Deputy Regional Director of the country’s National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Imoro Nashurideen says the violence was triggered by the enskinment of a sub-chief by the Chief of Wenchike. The region has seen some volatility in recent years. Communal clashes in July 2022 led to the torching of houses in Gbalo and Kukpong/Sagong communities, the death of many livestock and the arrest of 12 suspects in the district.

Trends in the Horn of Africa drought are now worse than they were during the 2011 drought, an international climate centre said. The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre said below-normal rainfall is expected in the upcoming rainy season over the next three months. The drought has lasted almost three years, and tens of thousands of people are said to have died, and more than one million people have been displaced in Somalia alone, according to the United Nations. Close to 23 million people are thought to be highly food insecure in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, according to a food security working group chaired by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development. Already, 11 million livestock essential to many families’ health and wealth have died, the climate centre said.