failed to respond to allegaÂtions of spousal abuse directed against him in the public sphere, his
familyâ€™s name would have been severely damÂaged.
Silence on his
part could have been interpreted, as the mark of an arrogant and abusive husband, who takes pleasure in mistreating his
In that case, rumour merchants could have embellished news reports about the relationship between Chime
All these would seem to justify Chimeâ€™s decision to hold a press conference last week.
In 2012 when he
slipped out of the country secretly to undergo medical treatÂment in London for cancer of the nose, he
was followed by rumours of his
demise and other unpleasant stories that mocked the state of his
Last week, Chime
must do something to end ruÂmours that suggested he
was maltreating his
To prove his
brought to the press conference his
brothÂer and sister, his
wifeâ€™s brother, including his
The case between Chime
wife has gone beyond a matter between a husband and wife.
Other outside players are now involved.
have a briefing from Mrs. Chime
to represent and free her from the alleged illegal detention at the GovernÂment House, Enugu?
, as the husband of Clara, is in an even more precarious situation.
At the press conference last week, Chime
made some insightful comments, such as: â€œWould I have been a better husband if I asked her
to leave the lodge because of her
medical challenges? ...
I wanted the best for her
and thatâ€™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 Iâ€™m now being falsely accused of imprisoning or detaining my own wife.â€
is in a Catch-22 situation.
would be damned if he
acted to help his
would also be damned if he
didnâ€™t do anything to assist his
In fact, if he
did nothing, he
would have been perceived as a callous husband.
Did Mrs Chime
understand that her
detention was in her
Could this case have been resolved much earlier if Mrs Chime
observed tradiÂtional norms and practices by approaching the elders in her
husbandâ€™s community or even her
husbandâ€™s kith and kin to seek their intervention?
There are more puzzles.
At the press conference on Tuesday, 5 November 2013, Mrs Chime
denied engaging Falana
to represent and free her from detention in the Government House, Enugu.
According to the Punch of Friday, 8 November 2013, Falana
said: â€œWith 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 GovÂernment House, Enugu.â€ This declaration makes the entire case confusing.
Even as Chime
wife and Falana enÂgage in a tangled web of exchanges about who did what, when and what prompted their actions, the National Human Rights Commission
(NHRC) has weighed into the dispute.
said last Friday (8 November 2013) it had investigated comÂplaints lodged by Mrs Chime
in which she
alleged that her
rights were being abused.
The commission said the cause of the misÂunderstanding between Governor Chime and his wife was the process adopted in the treatment of her â€œhallucinations and depressionâ€.
reacted angrily last SaturÂday to the way the NHRC
In a report published in the Punch on Sunday (10 November 2013), Mrs Chime
complained to Falana
, her lawyer, that the National Human Rights Commission
has cast aspersions on her person in its preliminary report.
complaint, Mrs Chime
was reported to have written: â€œI am very disappointed to read what has been narrated by the National Human Rights Commission
Apart from the fact that the information was largely false, it showed lack of sensitivity in publishing sensitive medical detail...
It is as though the commission set out to ridicule me.
I made it clear to them that I had a nervous breakdown and found it inexplicable as to how hallucinations featured as part of my symptoms.â€
Embarrassed by the blunder contained in its preliminary report, the National HuÂman Rights Commission
moved quickly last Sunday to deny that it said that Mrs Chime
had any health challenges.
blamed the media for the inacÂcuracies in reporting the preliminary report.
The commission said in its denial published in the Punch two days ago (Monday, 11 November 2013): â€œThe commission... has never claimed to have established that Mrs. Chime
has health challenges.
The attention of the National Human Rights Commission
has been drawn to media reports which suggested that the commission had established that Chime
, suffers from health challenges.
This implies that the commission is biased and has already taken a decision on her
complaint, which is far from the truth.
The National Human Rights Commission
has yet to reach a determination on the petiÂtion received from Mrs. Chime.â€
Although Mrs Chime
claimed durÂing her
husbandâ€™s press conference on Tuesday last week that she
did not contact any lawyer or lodged a petition with the human rights commission, it is now apparent from the NHRCâ€™s press release that Mrs Chime
did indeed lodge a petition with the NHRC
Both Falana and the NHRC
must not exploit the medical condition of Mrs Chime
to escalate this problem through their comÂments and statements to the media.
has admitted his
wife has a health problem.
Mrs Clara Chime
has also confirmed that she
has some health problems.