Police denies arresting NLC President, claims he was attacked by mob
The Imo State Police Command has denied arresting the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, in Owerri, saying he was attacked by a mob.
Police made the denial in a press release dated 1st November, 2023, and signed by the State Command Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Okoye Henry, on behalf of the Commissioner of Police.
ASP Henry stated that the NLC President was in Owerri as part of arrangements of the Congress to mobilize workers for a mega protest rally in the state but that in the course of their planning, suggestions arose for the lockdown of some essential facilities particularly the airport.
Consequently, he noted, some workers and other individuals resisted the picketing process which led to scuffles and heated arguments and an eventual attack on the person of the president by a mob.
Okoye stated further: “Upon receiving this report, the Imo Police Command swiftly deployed police operatives to the scene where the Officer in Charge exercised his operational discretion by taking the NLC President into protective custody at the State Command Headquarters to ensure the protection of his life and that he was not lynched in the scuffle that followed.
“The Commissioner of Police thereafter directed that he should be taken to the Police Medical Services, Owerri, where he would be accorded medical attention as a result of the attack.
“He has, therefore, been accorded adequate security cover to proceed on his other legitimate engagements for the day.
“It is, however, necessary to emphasize the existence of a court injunction from the National Industrial Court of Nigeria holden in Owerri with Suit No. NICN/OW/41/2023 dated 27th October, 2023, barring the NLC from holding the intended protest rally in Owerri.”
According to Okoye, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, urged all concerned parties to ensure compliance with the Court directives so as to avoid jeopardizing the current security arrangements on Owerri and other parts of Imo State, even as the State gears up for the forthcoming electioneering process on 11th November 2023.
Contrary to the Police report, meanwhile, eyewitness accounts say that the Nigeria Labour Congress President was arrested by security operatives, adding that he was actually seriously manhandled by thugs sent by the Imo State Government, following which he was whisked away by Police to an unknown destination.
Read the full story below:
NLC president, Joe Ajaero, was battered by Governor
Uzodinma’s thugs, whisked away by police — Eyewitness