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The Imo State Government objected to Joe Ajaero, the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, being in Owerri on Thursday to lead a protest, stating it was in direct violation of a court mandate.
The government, however, disclaimed any responsibility for the apprehension and violent treatment of the labor leader.
Africa Today News, New York, revealed that Joe Ajaero was taken into custody and subjected to violence on Wednesday in Owerri, the state capital, during his leadership of a protest against the state government’s purported anti-labor policies.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, in a statement, dismissed those accusing the state government of involvement in Ajaero’s predicament as individuals fostering mischief.
It asserted that the planned action was deemed unlawful, citing a previous intervention by the National Industrial Court that had halted the strike.
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.’