The wife of the founder, Believers’ LoveWorld Incorporated, popularly known as 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.
A London spokesperson who refused to tell her name and who spoke with our correspondent on the phone said she was not aware of the situation.
She said, “I am not aware of this but I will transfer your call to someone who could speak on the matter. I don’t have any information on this.”
After a few minutes of holding, she told our correspondent she could not get the person who could speak on such issues.
Likewise, a spokesperson of the church in Nigeria, who simply identified himself as Pastor Rich, said “I cannot confirm this. Meanwhile, you can send your enquiry via text message and it will be forwarded to the right department. We are going to respond to this at the right time.”