Three executive members of the Imo State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)
have been reportedly arrested by the operatives of the Imo State Police Command.
DAILY POST learnt that NLC officials were detained on Wednesday at the Imo State Secretariat while checking on how state employees were complying with the two-day nationwide warning strike.
James Chukwudi, a member of the state NLC Caretaker Committee and the state-designated secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Cooperation (AUPCO), who briefed the DAILY POST, accused Raymond Ucheoma, the Imo State Head of Service, of ordering their arrest after spotting them at the secretariat’s entrance.
He named himself, the state secretary, Nduka Aniukwuojior, and the state woman leader, Mrs Margret Ogbujor, as the arrested NLC executive members.
“Monitoring the compliance of the labour union members is customary, and that is what we did. We were arrested when a squad of police officers in a Hilux pulled up next to us at the Imo State Secretariat gate. They drove us to the New Owerri police station. Later, we discovered that the Head of Service had arrested us by calling the police to the secretariat.
“But everyone is aware that the NLC is conducting a two-day nationwide warning strike, and part of our duty is to keep an eye on participants’ compliance. George Ofoegbu, the Imo State NLC chairman, has contacted the police commissioner. We anticipate being freed soon,” he said.
However, the Imo State Head of Service, Raymond Ucheoma, told DAILY POST those detained went beyond the scope of simple monitoring, accusing them of breaking into the secretariat, robbing two offices, and demanding money from gullible civil officials.
“They are impostors passing themselves off as NLC officials,” he continued. “They broke into the secretariat and stole various expensive items, including cash. The employees of two offices were harassed and blackmailed into giving over money. Because it was a criminal act, the Imo State police stormed the secretariat after a tip-off.”
In the meantime, attempts to contact Henry Okoye, spokesperson of the Imo State Police Command, were unsuccessful as his phones were switched off.