Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why would I want my wife locked up? – Gov. Chime

Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu State has promised to continue to protect
the integrity of his wife, Clara, in spite of campaigns against him.
Speaking with newsmen in Enugu on Wednesday, Chime said it had become
imperative for him to clarify issues about his wife's health
challenges going by the campaign of calumny against his person.
"Well, my wife has some medical challenges and it would be very unkind
for me to talk about her condition on the pages of newspapers," the
governor said.
"I have done everything to protect her integrity and I am not now
going to expose her to ridicule because some people want to exploit
her situation to drag me into a needless war of words.
"We've been battling this prior to my inauguration in 2011. It was so
bad at a time that she had to be taken out of here (Governor's Lodge)
for treatment.
"When she stabilised, I pleaded with her doctors if she could be
brought back here to be receiving her treatment at home and they
graciously accepted.
"There was a time she was confined indoors and that was strictly on
her doctors' advice. She's here and she can confirm or deny it. Also,
the doctors then advised against allowing her access to telephones and
her laptop."
The governor said his wife was safe in the Government House, adding
that her confinement within the premises was at the instance of her
doctor who was present at the briefing.
"Why would I want my wife locked up? If it had been that I had issues
with her, there are many ways to resolve them. But that's not the
case. She is not well and I'm willing to do anything to support and
protect her.
"It was always more convenient for me to have taken the easier route
but that would have been very callous and ungodly.
"When I had my own health challenge, I was receiving treatment in
London and thinking about her, making sure she received the right
treatment. I'm forever grateful to her doctors who have done a great
"Both families are billed to meet very soon and after that, I'll take
a decision which will be in the interest of both parties," the
governor said.
On his reaction to a purported petition to the inspector-general of
police by renowned lawyer, Chief Femi Falana, the governor said: "He's
my professional colleague but sometimes you leave people to their
"I won't join words with him. Has he met this client of his as he
claimed to assess her state of mind and determine if she can give him
the right brief to guide his case? Did he ask for access to her or to
me and was denied? I leave it at that.
"That's the penalty you face as a public officer. When I was receiving
treatment in London, some of the newspapers reported that I had died
in India.
"I've never been to India and had never applied for an Indian visa.
Today, the story is that I've imprisoned my own wife in my residence.
I know their motives but I wish those behind such wicked tales well."
Clara, who was present during the briefing, denied sending any
petition to the National Human Rights Commission alleging unlawful
detention by her husband.
She also denied contacting or engaging the services of Falana or any
other lawyer to seek her freedom from an alleged incarceration at
Government House, Enugu.
The quite a long time, Clara could not speak, prompting her husband
and brother, Mr Tony Igwe, to persuade her to speak.
At a point, her brother took her to an adjacent room where they spent
some minutes after which Igwe assured the people that she was willing
to talk.
After some long silence, Clara said: "You (the governor) and my doctor
can speak on my behalf."
The governor replied: "Yes, I'm your husband and should ordinarily do
so but you know I'm the one being accused of detaining you. This way,
I've lost that privilege to speak for you, at least on this case.
"The story out there also is that your doctor is probably scared of me
and gives you all kinds of drugs, sometimes against your wish."
The governor's wife then said: "My doctor and I don't have any problem."
She also corroborated an earlier message she sent to her husband's
telephone that she had not met Falana or engaged him to seek her
release from a purported unlawful custody.
She rather admitted that she wrote a letter to her doctor, (Dr
Agumuo)and another doctor overseas whom she was introduced to and
wondered how the letter leaked to the public.
She also admitted that she was once confined to a room without access
to her telephone and laptop, saying: "that was when I had a serious
On the current situation, Clara said she had the key to her room and
controlled her entry and exit.
She said, however, that her grouse was that she had not been allowed
to leave the premises except on Sundays to attend mass. (NAN)

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