The wife of the founder, Christ Embassy, Anita Oyakhilome, has reportedly filed for dissolution of the marriage between her and her pastor husband, Chris Oyakhilome, on the grounds of “unreasonable behaviour” and “adultery.”
According to an online newspaper, The Cable, 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, the United Kingdom, on Anita’s behalf by Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors, a firm with expertise in commercial law, family, wills and estate, personal injury and medical negligence.
It was also reported that efforts to reconcile the couple, whose church is one of the biggest denominations in Nigeria with 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.
However, according to an elder of the church, Chris Oyakhilome 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.
Some sources said the pastor had been making efforts to avoid divorce in the hope that the wife would eventually have a change of mind. However, it was reported that the decree nisi was served on the charismatic pastor in his hotel room during a recent visit to the UK. Decree nisi, 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 the terms of the divorce will be worked out by the lawyers on both sides.