Popular Nigerian Megachurch Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and Wife In Messy Divorce


After months and years of speculations about the state of the marriage between Christ Embassy Church founder, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, and his wife, Rev. Anita Odegwa Oyakhilome, the lat­ter has finally filed a suit in a London court seeking the dissolution of the union.

In what looks like a messy divorce suit, the wife in the papers already filed in court is asking for separation on the grounds of “unreasonable behaviour” and “adultery”. According to a news agency, 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, 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 among others.

Frantic efforts made by Saturday Sun to get a reaction from Oyakhilome’s church headquarters located along Kudirat Abiola way, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos, were rebuffed by officials of the church. However, one of the pastor’s top aides, who manages some of the church’s business concerns, denied there was any divorce suit in any court.

According to him, “they got married in Nigeria, how will they file a divorce suit in London? It is not true and it’s not possible. If anything is filed, it is either in Nigeria here or nowhere else because both are Nigerians. Even though, the wife may have dual citizenship, her father is a Nigerian and they both carry Nigerian passports.” He referred Saturday Sun to the church’s headquarters for further and official comments.

Notwithstanding the church’s denial, Saturday Sun contacted the law firm of Attwaters Jameson Hill handling the divorce suit. Enquiries from the firm revealed that Ms Joyti Henchie who heads the family law team is handling the case. A reply to an initial mail sent to her official e-mail address yesterday said the lawyer won’t be on her desk till Monday, September 1. She, however, referred Saturday Sun to her colleague on duty, Ms Kaylee Pleasance, who after requesting for the suit number and names of the litigants, confirmed that the law firm is handling the divorce suit. When asked the next hearing date of the suit, she said she could not immediately recall but promised to communicate that next week.

Oyakhilome’s church is regarded as one of the biggest denominations in Nigeria with membership in thousands and branches all over world. While Pastor Chris is the president of Believers’ Love World Inc, the registered name of the church, his wife, Anita is the vice president. They have two teenage daughters, Sharon and Charlyn. There have been speculations about the unhealthy state of their marriage in recent years with the continued absence of Anita from the church in Nigeria.

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Ade Alade and Chioma Igbokwe

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