The shocking incident occurred just a day before the off-season governorship election in Imo State. Ajaero, visibly affected with swollen eyes concealed by dark shades, expressed his dismay over the severity of the assault.
He stated, “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...
Contrary to the earlier assertion by the Imo State Police Command that the NLC president was placed in protective custody, he disputes this claim.
The statement, released on the official Nigeria Police X handle by Imo Police Public Relations Officer ASP Okoye Henry, faces contradiction from the NLC president's account.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has directed an inquiry into the assault on the NLC president, as conveyed in a statement 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.