The Oyakhilome divorce story continues to be a gift that keeps on giving, for the tabloid media.
Last week, news emerged that Rev. Anita Oyakhilome, estranged wife of the founder and president of Christ Embassy Church, Dr. Chris Oyakhilome had filed for divorce in a London court on grounds of adultery and unreasonable behaviour. Later in the week, Rev. Anita is reported to have sworn to go through with the divorce which has scandalised the church for the past two weeks.
The controversy appears to have claimed its first casualty in the church. Saturday Sun reports that a London pastor of the Christ Embassy Church, simply known as Pastor Grace has been fired by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. The pastor was fired in May 2014 for allegedly putting together a prayer team towards the restoration of the Oyakhilome marriage.
One of the pastors who works in the church spoke anonymously to The Sun, said that Pastor Grace put the prayer team together when Rev. Anita stopped attending church services in the London branch of the Christ Embassy Church.
“We suspected this issue is going to go public some day since the day Pastor Chris sacked Rev Grace for meddling in his family affairs by openly calling for prayers among some members in London when Rev Anita stopped coming to the church she was shepherding while all efforts to get her failed,” the minister said. “Some us believe our colleague in London did the right thing by seeking spiritual help for the family but I think Pastor Chris misread her intention and had to travel to London when he heard of the move to sack her and contain the spread of rumour among members in London.”
The suit, with number FD14D01650, was filed on April 9, 2014 at Divorce Section A, Central Family Court, First Avenue House, High Holborn, London, UK, on Rev. 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, among others.
Pastor Chris has reportedly assembled a legal team to put up a defense in court against the wife’s allegations.
Chris Embassy is easily one of the Nigeria’s biggest church denominations with membership in hundreds of thousands and branches all around the world. Since the news of the divorce broke, Rev. Anita’s pictures have been wiped from the church’s website.
The Oyakhilomes have been married for more than twenty years.