18 February 2016

Nigeria: Finally! Anita Divorces Oyakhilome

Photo: Vanguard
Pastor Chris and ex-wife Anita.

Lawyers to Anita, the former wife of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, the founder of Christ Embassy, have said that she had finalised her divorce to the preacher, adding that she was no longer a part of, or involved in, the church, also known as Believers LoveWorld Inc.

Anita Ebhodaghe, formerly Anita Oyakhilome, a pioneer member of Christ Embassy, where she rose to become a pastor, got married to Oyakhilome in 1991, and have two daughters.

A statement by her solicitors, Attwaters Jameson Hill, said the divorce was finalised on February 8 and hinted that she had dropped Oyahkilome from her name, while also severing all ties with the church.

The statement, published on the United Kingdom-based law firm's website reads: "We have been requested by Anita Oyakhilome to confirm that on February 8, 2016 a decree absolute was pronounced in the High Court of Justice Principal Registry of the Family Division dissolving her marriage to Christian Onehirokpeana Oyakhilome.

"Anita Oyakhilome would like to confirm that she is no longer involved in or part of Christ Embassy, A.K.A. Believers LoveWorld Inc."

In 2014, it was in the news that Anita had filed for a divorce, accusing her pastor husband of indulging in illicit affairs with female members of the church. This came to the fore after months of rumours suggesting that all was not well with the marriage.

In the following months, their marital crisis got messier as both Anita's lawyers and Oyakhilome issued statements that suggested the damage to the relationship was irreparable.

Shortly after, news of a suit for separation broke, images of Anita, which were very prominent on the church's website, were removed with her name and image also missing from subsequent editions of Rhapsody of Realities, the church's devotional, which she had co-authored for years with her estranged husband.

Oyakhilome, at that time, dismissed reports about the messy divorce including those suggesting that adultery was one of the grounds for the divorce, accusing the media of publishing a lot of "stupid things".

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