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Why I Confined My Wife To Government House –Chime

Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

Enugu State Governor,  Sullivan Chime has denied  media reports that he subjected his wife, Mrs. Clara Chime, to house arrest for several months, saying “as my wife, I will continue to protect her integrity.”

The Governor made the denial before some visiting journalists from Lagos, his wife, and her elder brother, Mr. Tony Igwe.

Enugu Governor, Chime Sullivan

Enugu Governor, Chime Sullivan

Also present at the meeting were the governor’s siblings, Mrs. May Oji and Dr. Jide Chime, as well as Mrs. Chime’s neuro-psychiatric doctor, Dr. Aham Agumuo, among a few others.

During the interview session, the governor’s wife denied sending any petition to the National Human Rights Commission alleging unlawful detention by her husband.

She also denied hiring the services of Mr. Femi Falana to seek her freedom from an alleged house arrest at the Governor’s Lodge, EnuguBut Falana, a senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN had claimed in his letter to some media houses and the Inspector-General of Police IGP, Abubakar mohammed, that he was engaged by Mrs. Chime to seek her freedom from alleged house arrest by her husband.

In his comments, governor Chime, said it was “so disturbing” for him to speak out publicly about his wife’s health challenges.

He, however, vowed that he would do everything, no matter the personal pains, to protect her from ridicule.

Hear him: “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.

“I have done everything to protect her integrity and I’m 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,” Chime stated.

Continuing, “We’ve been battling  (Clara’s health challenges) 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 laptop.”

He said, “I cannot say or do anything to undermine her dignity. She is, first and foremost, my wife. “The big blunder I committed was allowing her access to the telephone and her laptop, against the advice of her doctor. I’m paying dearly for that today, going by what is happening now.

“Her brother is here, her doctor is here with us too. You people (journalists) can confirm anything you want from them, either here or at your convenience.

“Would I have been a better husband if I asked her to leave the lodge because of her medical challenge? Would it not have been more convenient for me if I allowed her to stay and be treated in the


“But like I said earlier, I wanted the best for her and that’s why I pleaded with the doctors to have her treated at home. That is also why I allowed her access to her telephone and laptop, which unfortunately led to the stage where I’m now being falsely accused of imprisoning or detaining my own wife.”

When it was the turn of the Enugu state first lady to speak, she could not, but Her husband and brother had to persuade her for a long time, yet she didn’t.

Her brother, Tony Igwe, at some point, took her to an adjacent room where they spent about 30 minutes before returning to join othersa At this point, Igwe now assured the rest people that she was willing to talk, but it was another round of silence.

After about another 30 minutes, she finally spoke. She said, “You (referring to the governor) and my doctor can speak on my behalf.”

But Chime replied, saying, “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.”

Said Chime:, “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.”

On the petition to the National Human Rights Commission, she corroborated an earlier text message she had sent to her husband 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.

Mrs.  Chime 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 crisis.”

The governor’s wife also confirmed that she has the key to her room and controls her entry and exit, contrary to the claim in the petition that she had been locked up for asking to be allowed to leave.

Her grouse was that she had not been allowed to leave the premises. “Though I attended mass last Sunday,” she said.

Her husband came in at this point and said, “All I want to reassure you is that she is safe here. Her confinement within the premises for now is at the instance of her doctor who is here.”

Chime asked, “Why would I want my wife locked up?” saying, “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 job. 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.”

Chime also reacted to the petition to the IGP by Falana, saying “He (Falana) is my professional colleague, but sometimes you leave people to their conscience. 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.”

He added, “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, ” The governor concluded

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