The President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, on Friday gave an account of how he was brutalised 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 to the off-season 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 that the NLC wrote to intimate all the security agencies about the protest before the fateful day.
“I went to the (NLC) secretariat around 9am after receiving reports that some workers were beaten up and their phones seized.
“I went there with about 20 security personnel. I called for some journalists and other workers to address the press on the situation in Imo.
“It was then that some police officers in uniforms and mufti came and withdrew my 20 security personnel. A policeman also arrested me and handed me over to the thugs.
“When a sergeant wanted to know why I was being handed over, they shouted at him to keep quiet. They were asking me why I am challenging a governor and that I should say my last prayer.
“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 earlier statement by the Imo State Police Command, which said the NLC president was taken into protective custody to save him from mob attack.
The statement was issued on the official X handle of the Nigeria Police by Imo Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Okoye Henry.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has ordered an investigation into the attack on the NLC president.
This was made known in a statement sent to our correspondent by the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi on Friday.
The statement read in part, “The Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D., NPM, has ordered investigations into the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault on the person of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero.
“Consequently, he has directed the Deputy Inspector General in charge of the Force Criminal Investigation Department to take over the matter with the primary objective of ascertaining 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.
“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.”