The Imo State Police Command, in response to recent reports, has issued a statement clarifying the alleged arrest of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, in Owerri.
The statement from the police command underscores that Comrade Joe Ajaero was in Owerri as part of the NLC’s efforts to mobilize workers for a mega protest rally within the state. During their planning, discussions arose concerning the potential lockdown of essential facilities, including the airport, leading to resistance from workers and individuals. This resistance resulted in scuffles, heated arguments, and eventually an attack on Comrade Joe Ajaero by a mob.
Upon receiving reports of this incident, the Imo Police Command promptly deployed police officers to the scene. The Officer in Charge exercised operational discretion by taking the NLC President into protective custody at the State Command Headquarters. This measure aimed to safeguard his life and prevent potential harm during the altercation. Subsequently, the Commissioner of Police directed that he receive medical attention at the Police Medical Services in Owerri due to the attack. Comrade Joe Ajaero was provided with adequate security cover to continue his other legitimate activities for the day.
The press release also emphasizes the existence of a court injunction from the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, held in Owerri, with Suit No. NICN/OW/41/2023 dated October 27, 2023. This injunction bars the NLC from conducting the intended protest rally in Owerri.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, urges all parties involved to adhere to the court’s directives to avoid compromising the current security arrangements in Owerri and other parts of Imo State. This clarification comes as the state prepares for the forthcoming election process on November 11, 2023.