Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Nigeria recalls diplomat over wife-beating claims

Nigerian High Commissioner to Kenya Chijioke Wigwe (centre) and his wife Theresa dance at a past function

Nigerian High Commissioner to Kenya Chijioke Wigwe, has been recalled over allegations of wife battering.

Nigerian media, quoting the country’s foreign ministry official reported on Tuesday that the “ministry had decided that the diplomat should go home as part of its investigation and disciplinary measures.”

The wife of the Nigerian envoy, Ms Tess Iyi Wigwe, was examined on Monday by a police doctor over assault claims. (READ: Police doctor to examine wife of Nigerian envoy)

Ms Wigwe recorded a statement with the Diplomatic Police Unit in Gigiri after reporting that she was assaulted by her husband, Dr Wigwe.

The Nigerian High Commission has, however, termed the allegations against Dr Wigwe as “malevolent, far from the truth and unsubstantiated.”

The Nigerian Bulletin quoted the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Damian Agwu saying: “He will first of all be recalled and then be handled from there.”

In Nairobi, the Foreign Affairs ministry remained tight-lipped, only indicating that acting minister George Saitoti will issue a statement on Thursday over the matter.

Kenya chapter of the Federation of Women Lawyers chairperson Naomi Wagereka had called on the Kenyan and Nigerian governments to immediately withdraw all diplomatic immunity and status of Dr Wigwe.

Ms Wigwe displayed serious injuries on the face, which she claims were inflicted on her by her husband.

Police sources also revealed that her daughter was also injured as she tried to protect her mother. It was not clear whether the woman intends to prefer any charges.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said they had written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the lifting of Dr Wigwe’s immunity.

Being a diplomat, he is not liable to any form of arrest or detention by Kenyan authorities.

Nigeria had the option to recall the diplomat or have him face trial here should his diplomatic immunity be waived.

Source: Daily Nation

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