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Femi Falana ‘fights’ for release of Enugu’s First Lady

By The Rainbow


Ace Lawyer and hunam right activist, Femi Falana has been hired by Enugu’s First Lady, Clara Chime in order to be freed from her husband’s arrest.                   ⁠

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has asked the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. MD Abubakar, to ensure the immediate release from unlawful detention of Mrs. Clara Chime, the First Lady of Enugu State, who is being held hostage at Government House Enugu by Governor Sullivan Chime, or be dragged to court.

According to Sahara reporters, Falana, in a letter dated November 1, 2013, said his client, Mrs. Clara Chime, has been kept in custody and hasn’t been allowed to see or speak with anyone for the past four months on the orders of Governor Chime.

'Thus our client's fundamental rights to the dignity of her person, personal liberty, fair hearing, private and family life and freedom of movement guaranteed by the Constitution and the African Charter on Human and People's Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 have been violated without any legal justification,' it said.

'Although our client's dehumanizing detention conditions have had deleterious effects on her psychological state as well as her mental and physical health she has been denied access to her doctors by her abductors,' the petition said.

'It is particularly disturbing to note that some of the police and state security service personnel assigned to secure the safety of the Enugu State governor, his wife and other family members have aided and abetted Mr. Chime in subjecting our client to egregious infringements of her aforesaid fundamental rights.'

Falana pointed that although the governor is covered by the immunity clause, the police and state security service officials involved in the illegal arrest and detention of Mrs. Chime ought to be sanctioned under the relevant laws.

In a letter exclusively published by SaharaReporters on October 28, Mrs. Chime complained that Governor Chime had placed her under house arrest, and begged human rights bodies to come to her rescue.

She said that although President Jonathan and his wife and Bishop Callistus Onaga of Enugu state and others have waded into the situation yet, the governor has refused to release her.

Mrs. Chime also said she had been introduced to two psychiatrists, Dr. Onwukwe and Dr. Agumo, who prescribed 'all kinds of drugs that end up keeping me acutely depressed and also drives me into hallucinations.'

“In all of these challenges, one thing is very clear; we must not only be seen as existing, we must relentlessly support true democracy and the rule of law.

“So it has become necessary to step up our activities as true democrats and make our contributions to the growth of democracy in the country,'' he said.