Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, has denied giving the order that led to alleged arrest of officials of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) on Friday allegedly by the Police in Lagos.
In a telephone interview with NAN in Abuja, the Special Assistant (Media), to the Minister, Mr Nwachukwu Obidewe, denied the allegation.
“It is not true and it is impossible. The minister never gave such an order, to the best of my knowledge,” he explained.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted other officials of the union, who spoke on condition of anonymity, that some armed policemen stormed the National Secretariat of NUBIFIE and arrested three officials of the union.
The Ministry of Labour had on Nov. 2 issued a statement announcing the dissolution of the newly-elected executive of the union.
The ministry also announced the constitution of a 15-man committee to manage the affairs of the union.
The officials claimed that the three union executives were allegedly arrested on the instruction of the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige.
They gave the names of those arrested as the union’s president, Danjuma Musa, general secretary, Sheikh Mohammed and deputy general secretary, Okon Etim.
Mr Joe Ajaero, the president, United Labour Congress (ULC) also confirmed to NAN that the union officials were arrested without a warrant.
Ajaero said that the union leaders were taken to the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Annex, Alagbon Close, Ikoyi.
He, however, could not immediately explain why they were arrested.
It will be recalled that four months ago, Musa was arrested and taken to Abuja.
However, calls made to the cell phone of the Press Officer, FCID Annex, Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, DSP Ezra Challa, were unanswered.