The chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Ebonyi State Chapter, has been hospitalized at the emergency ward of the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki following a brutal attack by the police.
Following a bitter encounter with the Nigeria Police Force on Thursday, Ikechukwu Nwafor, the chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Ebonyi State Chapter, has been hospitalized at the emergency ward of the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA).
According to Premium Times
, Nwafor slumped on Friday after he was released by police and was immediately rushed to the hospital where he was still receiving treatment as at press time.
It was gathered that the NLC chairman, alongside other Labour leaders in the state, was tear-gassed, thoroughly beaten, thrown into a police Hilux van and taken to Ebonyi state police headquarters on Thursday, where he was detained by operatives of the command.
The NLC said his crime was leading a peaceful protest staged by NLC members in the state against the increase in electricity tariff and fuel pump price by Federal Government.
The police were said to have intercepted the NLC members at Pastoral Centre along old Abakaliki-Enugu expressway and ordered them to move back to their office, and when the unionists resisted and insisted on continuing the peaceful protest, the enraged personnel descended on them.
Reports revealed that Nwafor was seen rolling on the ground while the police officers, made up of Anti-robbery Squad, were hitting him hard just as other NLC members who were in the train had their fair share of the brutality.
Speaking on his hospital bed, Nwafor decried the action of the police saying they were handled like common criminals, alleging that they were indiscriminately attacked and their bus and phones seized.
He said, “Our greatest surprise was that this team was led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations and he was commanding his men to deal with me and even when I was on the ground he was matching me and ordered about five of them to lift me and throw me into a Hilux van.”
He alleged that the state Commissioner of Police, Peace Ibekwe Abdallah, confirmed through her responses when he was taken to her office that she ordered the attack on him and his colleagues.
He also alleged that the CP said the Union undermined her office by embarking on the protest without getting her approval, an allegation Nwafor denied, saying he notified Ms. Abdallah through writing and the CP attested she received it.
Nwafor said even the men of Department of State Security Services, (DSS), sent to provide security for them were also attacked by police. “We even gave the police the letter before DSS and the DSS sent their men, they were on the crew with their vehicle following us and guiding what we were doing.
“But to our greatest surprise, police did not consider this, one of the DSS men was also attacked by police and his gun and phones collected forcefully from him. And before the CP, they checked his phone to make sure he did not video anything that happened,” adding that he has communicated the national leadership of NLC which has promised to follow up the matter.