Human Rights Activist and Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has debunked the claim by Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State that he did not receive a request from the state’s First Lady, Clara Chime, to help save her from illegal detention at the Government House, Enugu, on the orders of her husband, the governor.
Recall that Gov. Chime had on Wednesday, in company with Clara, her doctor and other relatives, denied media reports that he detained his wife, saying she was only kept indoors due to her health challenges.
Clara, who refused to speak at first when requested to do so by her husband, however, managed to corroborate Gov. Chime’s claim by denying that she reached out to Falana to help secure her freedom from the alleged house arrest.
She had also denied sending any petition to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, alleging unlawful detention by her husband.
But the fiery lawyer in a statement on Thursday, maintained that Chime’s denial of detaining his wife was diversionary, alleging that the governor was only attempting to justify “the illegality” by claiming that his wife had a medical challenge.
Falana stated, “With respect to Mrs. Clara Chime, I wish to say, without any fear of contradiction, that I have her instructions in writing to challenge her illegal detention at the Government House, Enugu.
“Through the assistance of some of the security personnel in the Government House, she has since spoken to me on phone to confirm her instructions. Indeed, Mrs. Chime’s mother and her personal physician have also been in touch with me urging me to take all appropriate measures to secure her freedom from Governor Chime’s illegal confinement.
“From his nocturnal press conference, Governor Chime confirmed the allegation that he had held his wife in illegal custody. He attempted to justify the illegality by alleging that his wife has “a medical challenge”.
“When Governor Chime was recently medically challenged, he was not subjected to solitary confinement in the Government House but flown abroad for adequate medical treatment.
“But Mr. Chime has conspired with his private physicians to sentence his wife to unwarranted mental torture and psychological trauma in a room in the Government House for the past four months. If Mr. Chime’s claim is correct that the wife is non compos mentis, when was the Enugu Government House converted to a psychiatric hospital?”
The lawyer also demanded that the governor should “release his wife from illegal custody and be warned not to divert attention from the brutal abuse of the rights of his wife.
“If he and his doctors are convinced that she is medically challenged they should send her to a hospital for quick recovery!”