NLC President Ajaero Brutalised By Police, Hospitalised – Spokesperson

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has accused Imo State police of brutalising its president, Joe Ajaero, leaving him hospitalised.

Ajaero was apprehended at Owerri, the capital of Imo State. Ajaero was pulled up from the NLC State Council Secretariat in Owerri by heavily armed police officers and taken somewhere unknown.

Benson Uper, the Head of Media at the NLC Headquarters, announced in a statement on Wednesday that the union’s president had been freed by police.

He did, however, mention that Ajaero remains in the hospital, claiming that he was badly battered after being apprehended by Imo State Police Command operatives.

“Immediately following his detention, he was beaten up and blindfolded and driven to an unknown destination where more brutalization occurred, sometimes with bottles,” according to the statement.

“Contact was made this evening at 1530 hours with Congress President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, at the Police Hospital in Owerri, from where he was transported to the Federal Medical Centre in Owerri, where he is receiving medical attention.”

“He had been severely beaten, and his right eye was entirely shut at the time of contact.” His phones, money, and other personal belongings were taken from him and never returned.”

The Imo State Police Command denied arresting Ajaero shortly after the story of his arrest spread.

According to Okoye Henry, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ajaero was placed in protective custody, contrary to reports.

“It is important to note that the NLC President was in Owerri as part of the Congress’s efforts to mobilise workers for a huge protest march in the state,” police stated.

“It was reported that during their planning, suggestions for the lockdown of some essential facilities, particularly the airport, arose, leading to some workers and other individuals resisting the picketing process, resulting in scuffles and heated arguments, and eventually an attack on the president’s person by a mob.”

“Upon receiving this report, the Imo Police Command quickly 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 his life was not lynched in the ensuing scuffle.”

The police spokesman further stated that the National Industrial Court in Owerri has issued an order prohibiting the NLC from holding the planned protest march in the state.

The Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ahmed Barde, specifically encouraged all relevant parties to guarantee compliance with the court instructions in order to prevent jeopardising the current security measures in Owerri and other parts of Imo ahead of the state’s governorship election on November 11.

Shortly after AJaero’s arrest, the Organised Labour called for immediate nationwide protest, demanding that the NIC leader be released by the end of today (Wednesday).

In a joint statement, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) accused Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma and Imo State Commissioner of Police of kidnapping the NLC leader.

Workers could not be at work while the NLC President was in the gulag, the union stated, urging them to be on high alert for quick action.

According to Organised Labour, President Bola Tinubu must summon Uzodimma “to avert what he has decided to transform the state into—a den of thugs and bloodsuckers.”

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