IGP Probes NLC President’s Ordeal, As Ajaero Says Imo Police ‘Handed Me Over To Thugs’


The Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, has ordered a probe of the assault and injuries inflicted on the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero.

Egbetokun spoke as Ajaero revealed that policemen, who apprehended him in Owerri, the Imo State capital, told him to say his last prayers while they held him in custody, and handed him over to thugs.

Ajaero sustained injuries to his face, limbs and torso after policemen and thugs reportedly subjected him to assault and battery last week’s Wednesday, when he led workers to protest unpaid salaries in Imo State.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, Ajaero said, “Police said I should say my last prayers.”

According to Ajaero, he was arrested in Owerri by the police and handed over to waiting thugs who got beat thoroughly.

The NLC president said the group wrote to all the security agencies before they went to the state for the protest on November 1.

According to him, workers who arrived at the venue of the protest on that day around 7am were beaten up by thugs with their phones seized.

Ajaero said he got there around 9am after he got the report of the spate of assaults, adding that the police arrested him and handed him over to thugs.

 He said: “I can’t explain the beating I received. They tied my hands and dragged me on the floor like a common criminal.”

The NLC President denied the allegation by the Imo State government that he is a card-carrying member of the opposition Labour Party (LP).

“I am not a card-carrying member of any political party as alleged,” he said.

In solidarity and protest over the treatment to Ajaero and other labour leaders, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) declared a nationwide strike to begin next Tuesday.

Force spokesman, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said, the IGP had waded into the issue to ascertain the true facts surrounding the incident and to address any ambiguities that may exist as the Police has been inundated with different versions of the incident making investigations imperative to clear the conflicting accounts.

Adejobi said: “The Nigeria Police Force understands the importance of transparency and accountability in maintaining public trust. The IGP therefore assures the public, most especially the leadership of the organised labour, that a thorough and unbiased inquiry will be conducted to provide clarifications while urging organised labour and the public to remain calm, as he has personally intervened to address the issues surrounding this incident.

“The investigation has commenced, and the Nigeria Police Force guarantees that it will be followed to a conclusive end, and appropriate actions will be taken based on the findings of the investigation.”


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