Ajaero’s Imo visit against court order, says state govt

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The Imo State Government, on Thursday, said the presence of the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, in Owerri, the state capital, to lead a protest was in defiance of a court order.

The government, however, denied having hands in the arrest and brutalisation of the labour leader.

Ajaero was, on Wednesday, in Owerri, the state capital, arrested and brutalised while he was in the state to lead a protest against the state government’s alleged anti-labour policies.

The state police command had denied arresting the NLC president, adding that it took Ajaero into protective custody after he was attacked by thugs.

A statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, described those accusing the state government of having hands in Ajaero’s travails as mischief makers.

It argued that the National Industrial Court had earlier stopped the strike, making the planned action illegal.

The statement read, “Imo State Government has washed its hands clean concerning the arrest of President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero.

“Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, said in Owerri on Wednesday that those accusing the government of arresting the NLC President were perennial mischief makers always crying wolf where there is none.

“The commissioner recalled that the purported strike in the state had been stopped by the National Industrial Court in Owerri, which makes the planned action illegal.

“The commissioner also noted that it was in compliance with the court order that the Imo State chapter of NLC announced that it was pulling out of the strike.

“He wondered what Ajaero was doing in Owerri in defiance of the order of the court, which warned of severe consequences against disobedience.

“He said information at the disposal of the government indicated that there might have been a fiasco between lawful workers of Imo State and lawless invaders from Abuja, which led to police intervention to maintain the peace.

“Emelumba stated categorically that the State Government has no hand in the arrest since it believes in the rule of law.”

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