The 32-year-old quit the Super Eagles after finishing as top scorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, and had told BBC Sport Africa last week a return was “not something I have to rush”.
But Ighalo, who now plays for Al Shabab in Saudi Arabia, is one of 24 players named by Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr for the matches against Liberia on 13 November in Morocco and Cape Verde at home three days later.
It is unclear whether the former Watford and Granada player will honour his selection.
There are also recalls for fit-again Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, Everton man Alex Iwobi and Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze after the trio missed last month’s home defeat by Central African Republic.
Veteran Rohr has has decided to stick with the same squad which picked a win on the road after that embarrassing home loss in Lagos.
Three-time African champions Nigeria have a two-point lead over Cape Verde heading into their final two Group C matches, with just the group winners progressing to the play-off round.
Nigeria’s 24-man squad in full
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands).
Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Rangers, Scotland); William Troost-Ekong (Watford, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino, Italy); Jamilu Collins (Paderborn, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (Porto, Portugal); Kevin Akpoguma (Hoffenheim, Germany).
Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford, England); Joe Aribo (Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton, England).
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Victor Osimhen (Napoli, Italy); Moses Simon (Nantes, France); Paul Onuachu (Genk, Belgium); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Odion Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia).