The President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero on Friday gave an account of how he was brutalized in Imo State, saying police operatives handed him over to some suspected thugs for beating.
The NLC president narrated his traumatic experience at a world press conference in Abuja.
The development is coming barely 24 hours before the governorship election in Imo State.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Ajaero who wore a dark shade to cover his swollen eyes, lamented that the kind of beating he received after security agents handed him over to the thugs was better imagined than explained.
This was even as he claimed the NLC wrote to intimate 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,” he stated.
His account contradicted an earlier statement by the Imo State Police Command, which said the NLC President was taken into protective custody to save him from a mob attack.
The statement was issued on the official X handle of the Nigerian Police by Imo Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Okoye Henry.
“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.”