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We Took NLC President Into Protective Custody To Save Him – Police Says, Refutes Arrest

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We Took NLC President Into Protective Custody To Save Him – Police Says, Refutes Arrest

The Imo state police command has denied arresting the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero during a protest in Owerri, the state capital.

Ajaero was said to have been arrested on Wednesday by the police at NLC’s secretariat while a mob descended on other Labour members who were protesting unpaid salaries, destroying vehicles.

However, the police in a statement issued on Wednesday evening by ASP Okoye Henry, the state police PRO, said they only took Ajaero “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 police statement also emhasised on “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.”

READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

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 mobilize 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.
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.
The Commissioner of Police, Imo State Police Command, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, psc (+), therefore urges 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.

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