This was two years before he contested the state governorship election in 2007.
Some of his aides and a commissioner claimed that Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, who was governor of Enugu State at the time, was said to have financed the heart surgery and subsequent treatment.
The aides, who craved anonymity so as not to be victimised, alleged that Nnamani gave Chime N7m for the surgery.
The aides, however, could not specify the heart-related disease that warranted the surgery.
One of aides, an Udi indigene where Chime also hails from, said, â€œHis (Chime) heart was very flat and when he complained to Chima (Nnamani), he (Nnamani) had no option but to help a friend.â€
Chime was Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Enugu State from 1999 to 2007 when Nnamani was governor of the state. Our correspondent gathered that their friendship dated back to the College of Immaculate Conception, Enugu, where they had their secondary education.
Their political differences, political pundits claimed, led Nnamani into establishing the People for Democratic Change, to unseat Chime in the 2011 general elections.
During the electioneering last year, The PUNCH recalls that Nnamani, in one of the campaigns, stated that he gave Chime N7m for a heart surgery in America.
â€œI recommended to him the doctor who should lead the team of surgeons when he gets to America. I did this for him when he complained to me and I noticed he was not feeling fine,â€ Nnamani had said in 2011.
Chime had been out of the country since September 20, as stated by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chuks Ugwoke.
He is believed to be in a hospital in India where he is still undergoing treatment for Leukemia and renal failure. The commissioner, who had in October insisted that Chime was observing an accumulated leave, and not undergoing medication, had, however, recanted.
Last Sunday, in the midst of a strong rumour that Chime had passed on in the India hospital, Ugwoke said the man was recovering and â€œhe is doing well.â€
Meanwhile, Nnamani could not be contacted on Tuesday to speak further on the issue as he is currently in America.
His spokesman and former Commissioner in Enugu State, Mr. Igbonekwu Ogazimora, when reached, said, â€œI donâ€™t know much on that issue.
â€œI would have called him to inquire on the issue, but whenever I try to call him, I canâ€™t reach him. So, whenever he call me, I will ask him then get back to you.â€