The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero has narrated how police operatives in Imo State police command handed him over to some suspected thugs who beat him black and blue and dragged him on the ground.
Ajaero, who spoke today, November 10 at a world press conference in Abuja, lamented that the kind of beating he received after security agents handed him over to the thugs was better imagined than explained.
The NLC, who wore a dark shade to cover his swollen eyes, said that contrary to report, the NLC wrote to all the security agencies about the protest before the fateful day.
“I can’t explain the beating I received. They tied my hands and dragged me on the floor like a common criminal. I am not even a card-carrying member of any political party as alleged.”
The Imo State Police Command had said that the NLC President was taken into protective custody to save him from a mob attack.
The police statement which was issued on the official X handle of the Nigerian Police by Imo Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Okoye Henry 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 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.”