The dissolution of the marriage between Christ Embassy Church founder, Pastor Christian Oyakhilome, and his wife, Rev. Anita Odegwa Oyakhilome, has entered the final phase, thus putting the popular Pastor at crossroads over the fate of the church and his business empire.
The wife is seeking divorce on the grounds of “unreasonable behaviour” and “adultery”.
She outlined several allegations against the pastor which we cannot publish for legal reasons.
The divorce case, with Suit No FD14D01650, was filed on April 9, 2014 at Divorce Section A, Central Family Court, First Avenue House, High Holborn, London, UK, on Anita’s behalf by Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors, a full-service law firm with expertise in commercial law and a strong consumer focus in family, wills and estate, personal injury law and medical negligence.
Efforts to reconcile the popular couple, whose church is one of the biggest denominations in Nigeria and has branches all over world, have failed. They have two teenage daughters, Sharon and Charlyn.
Oyakhilome is the president of Believers’ Love World Inc, the registered name of the Christian ministry, while his wife is the vice-president.
The pastor, according to an elder of the church, has denied allegations of adultery and believes his wife is being influenced by “bad friends” who are intent on destroying their home.
While Anita believes she has been relegated in the scheme of things in the church, her husband has reportedly accused her of trying to usurp power and authority above her seniors in the ministry.
Sources told us that the pastor had been making efforts to avoid divorce in the hope that the wife would eventually have a change of mind.
However, we can also report that the decree nissi was served on the charismatic pastor in his hotel room during a recent visit to the UK.
Decree nissi, in legal terms, is like a yellow card in a football match which is a precursor to a red card (“decree absolute”) if no new evidence is provided to stall proceedings.
Church insiders said Oyakhilome had been hoping for rapprochement, but he was left with no option than to receive the papers when the lawyers cornered him at his hotel in London. The decree absolute, which will effectively end the marriage, is expected to be issued soon while terms of the divorce will be worked out by the lawyers on both sides.