AMBASSADORIAL MESS: WIGWE RETIRES FROM DIPLOMATIC SERVICE
Remember the story of Dr. Chijioke Wilcox Wigwe, Nigeria's High Commissioner to Kenya with concurrent accreditation to Seychelles, and Tess, his lawyer-wife, whose violent domestic squabbles in Nairobi and other diplomatic beats were exclusively published in Saturday Sun and Sunday Sun editions of July 9 and 10, 2011, respectively?
Well, it seems the story hasn't ended yet. We can now authoritatively reveal that the beleaguered ambassador has effectively retired from Nigeria's diplomatic service. And this is official.
Recall that the envoy had, on June 6, this year, retired from the civil service having attained the mandatory retirement age of 60.
Last Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, a career diplomat, confirmed to our correspondent in Abuja, that the ministry conducted a thorough investigation into the matter and found out that Mrs. Wigwe had exaggerated the issue.
The minister explained that Ambassador Wigwe, who has now retired from the diplomatic service, had a long-standing marital crisis, which boiled over on May 11, this year, and triggered a violent confrontation between the man and his wife.
He then delivered this bombshell: that the investigative committee found out that the much advertised injuries that Mrs. Wigwe alleged were inflicted on her by her husband were make-believe, just as two of her children, Adanne, 27, and Nelson Ikenna Wigwe, 20, had attested.
The minister was not done yet. He further revealed that doctors at Aga-Khan University Hospital where Mrs. Tess Wigwe was treated after the violent scuffle had testified that the woman's injuries had been exaggerated.
He said the woman needed money to pay her mortgage in the United Kingdom, and had to pull the stunt in order to blackmail her husband. That tallied perfectly with Ambassador Wigwe's fears while pondering on the cruel timing of the May 11 violent scuffle, which, he said, his wife strategically planned to milk him.
Ashiru confirmed that Wigwe had retired from service, but said it had nothing to do with his domestic problem as he had attained the mandatory retirement age of 60.
Before the final bust on May 11, this year, the couple had had a cat-and-mouse since they tied the nuptial knot on April 9, 1978. Though blessed with five beautiful children, they squabbled over virtually everything, significant and insignificant. The squabbles ranged from such mundane issues as perfumes, to the very serious matters of food and marital infidelity. But it would appear the embattled ambassador has paid the heaviest price on the aggregate.
Apart from his career that has come to an abrupt end, he also made enormous sacrifice to make his wife happy, despite having lived apart for 10 years before coming together again. From his monthly foreign service allowance (FSA) of US$5, 539, he said he was paying his wife US$3, 000 to meet her mortgage obligations on a property in London, was giving her another $1,116 cash every month for her upkeep, even as he pays Adanne, his single-mum daughter, another US1, 500 for her upkeep.
Although his salary ran regularly at home while in service, Dr. Wigwe, told this reporter in Abuja in June that, 'every month is a struggle for me.' With him out of service, the struggle may even be tougher, especially if his suspicion, and that of the ministry, that his wife pulled a stunt to fleece him of his hard-earned money is to be held sacrosanct.