NLC president saved from mob attack, not arrested – Police

The Imo State Police Command has clarified reports concerning the alleged arrest of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, stating that they did not arrest him but saved him from mob attack.

This is contained in a statement signed by the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Okoye Henry, and posted on the official X handle of the Nigerian Police Force on Wednesday, November 1.

The statement read, “The Imo State Police Command wishes to clarify some sketchy reports alleging the arrest of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, in Owerri.

“It is pertinent to state that the NLC President was in Owerri as part of arrangements of the Congress to mobilise workers for a mega protest rally in the state. In the course of their planning, it was reported that suggestions arose for the lockdown of some essential facilities particularly the airport which led to some workers and other individuals resisting the picketing process leading to scuffles and heated arguments and an eventual attack on the person of the president by a mob.

“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.”

The statement further read that a court order had barred the NLC from holding its intended protest in Owerri.

It read, “It is however necessary to emphasise 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.”

The state Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Barde, also urged all concerned parties to ensure compliance with the court directives so as to avoid jeopardising the current security arrangements in Owerri and other parts of Imo State, even as the State gears up for the forthcoming electioneering process on November 11.


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