President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero on Friday, accused the police of aiding suspected thugs who beat him up in Imo last week.
Ajaero made this allegation while giving account of how he was brutalized in Owerri, Imo State capital.
He alleged that police operatives handed him over to some suspected thugs for beating.
The NLC president narrated his experience during a world press conference in Abuja.
This development is coming barely 24 hours ahead of the governorship election in Imo State.
Ajaero addressed journalists in Abuja while wearing a dark sunglasses to cover his swollen eyes.
He lamented that the beating he received after policemen handed him over to the thugs was better imagined than explained.
He, however, claimed that the NLC wrote to inform 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.
Ajaero’s account contradicted an earlier statement by the Imo State Police Command, claiming the NLC President was taken into protective custody to save him from attack by a mob.
The statement was issued on the official X handle of the Nigeria Police by Imo Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Okoye Henry.
It read, “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.”