At the centre of the storm is Pastor Rita Obioma Obiakor, the General Overseer of the church and her minister husband, Pastor Paulinus Obiakor who are both entangled in a web of accusations and counter accusations of infidelity, and behaviours unbecoming of the clergy as the couple dragged itself before a customary court, sitting at Ojo, Lagos, under President T.A Said.
The embattled couple is seeking for the dissolution of their 15-year-old marriage. The Orlu, Imo State-born prophetess alleged her estranged husband and father of her four children, has turned a thornin her flesh. Speaking through her counsel, Godson Samuel, she justified her decision to opt out of the troubled marriage thus: ‘’ My husband is on the verge of destroying all the works and efforts that I have put in place to establish this church over the years".
Continuing, she outlined the heart of the matter: "I got married to him when I was barely 16 years old, and he, 27 years. Then he had nothing, jobless and looking very unkempt. I started doing odd jobs to make both ends meet. Precisely in 2005, the Lord called me into his vineyard to serve him and show his people the right path.
My calling was a prophetic one, so was my ministry. Since the establishment of that ministry in our two-bedroom apartment at Amukoko, the Lord has been blessing us. But my husband was like a Judas to my ministry. He was always behaving abnormally to the members, until I made him a part of the church and also gave him a good post. Yet he wouldn’t let me be. He is always accusing me of sleeping with church members during night vigil or anointing services".
The mother of four further alleged that her husband’s greed and jealousy has done much damage to the image she had laboured so much to build. The disharmony between the couple degenerated to the extent that she was forced to buy another plot of land at Shibiri, Ajangbadi, a faraway suburb, and constructed a new church, thereby abandoning the old church located at No. 1 Bakare Street, Amukoko.
She also abandoned their accommodation, as well as give up some members of the old church to her estranged man. "I moved in with my children to a rented apartment close to the (new) church while my faithful members moved into our new church,"
In spite of all these, she alleged that he continued to harass her and members of her new church, which consequently began to affect the church’s growth. "So I had to ban him from entering the church and having access to the members too," she avowed.
When however, her husband Pastor Obiakor stepped into the dock to give his own side of the story, he brought a new twist to the divorce case. The 45-year old clergy in his testimony against his wife alleged atrocities which contradict her position as the general overseer.
He accused his wife of defiling the church by sleeping with prominent male members of the congregation in order to raise fund and establish herself financially. The land she acquired for the new church and her new apartment, he avowed were paid for with fund she raised from her illicit sexual affairs with male church members.
"My wife is the founder of the church, but as her husband, I am entitled to be the general overseer of the church. I had suspected my wife was frolicking with the wealthy and influential members of the church, my fears were eventually ascertained when she abandoned me and moved to her new church and apartment at Shibiri with a younger man she employed as her personal assistant known as Pastor Nwachineye," Obiakor claimed.
He further dropped a bombshell that she was impregnated by one of the pastors she employed. He substantiated this accusation by alleging that she took the man in question to the village and had introduced him to her family members and relatives as her new husband. "That is a big sacrilege because I am still very much alive and active, so why would she take another man to replace me," he argued.
His bitterness towards his wife, Obiakor asserted, was that she has been denying him access to their children.
"When I insisted on seeing my kids to know how they were faring, she adamantly refused and urged me to pay a certain amount into her joint account with her new pastor lover. I did that just to make sure my kids are fine and well taken care of," he reaffirmed.
In spite of everything, Pastor Obiakor was not prepared to let go of his wife. He affirmed that his estranged wife was more like the bread winner of the family before the union ran into troubled waters, that it was she that brought him fame and fortune; therefore, he is ready to forgive her of her transgressions and even take her back as his wife if only she would withdraw the suit. The case was later adjourned for further hearing.
Meanwhile, the whole scenario from another angle is that the entire members of the church have summoned their pastor that should she return to that man 'hubby' it is definitely going to be just her and her family that will be congregation.