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Police denies arresting NLC president, claims he was ‘rescued from mob attack’



The Imo State Police Command has claimed that its officers did not arrest the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, in Owerri, the state capital as widely reported in the media.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Media Head of the NLC, Benson Upah, said Ajaero was picked up from the Imo council secretariat of the NLC by heavily armed police officers.

“President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, was picked up a few minutes ago from NLC state council secretariat by heavily armed policemen in Owerri and taken to an unknown destination”, Upah had said.

But reacting to the development, spokesperson of the Imo Police Command, Henry Okoye, said the NLC president had a heated argument with some individuals who resisted the picketing of the airport in the state.

Okoye said to prevent an attack on Ajaero, the police took the NLC president into protective custody at the state police headquarters.

“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 was therefore accorded adequate security cover to proceed on his other legitimate engagements for the day”, the Imo police spokesperson said.

On October 30, the NLC promised to ground activities in Imo from November 1, to protest the alleged violation of rights and privileges of workers.

Ajaero had alleged that the Imo State government had not paid some workers for 20 months.

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