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Published On: Sun, Oct 5th, 2014

Christ Embassy crisis: Oyakhilome removed as trustee in UK

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Christ OyakhilomeThe face-off between the Founder of Believers Love World (aka Christ Embassy) Chris Oyakhilome, and his wife, Anita, has taken a new dimension, with Mr. Oyakhilome now removed as a trustee of a United Kingdom’s branch of the church.

With Mr. Oyakhilome’s removal, his wife, Anita, now presides over a seven-man Board of Trustees of the N8.2 billion rich branch,

According to Premium Times, the six other members of the board are Obi Chiemeka, Ifeoma Onubogu, Nkem Odiakah, Raymond Okocha, Tony Obi and Uche Onubogu, all pastors believed to be loyal to Mrs. Oyakhilome.

Mrs. Oyakhilome has for long headed the U.K branch of the church, but her husband, before what appears his sudden removal, had since inception presided over the Board of Trustees of the charity.

The new development suggests that in addition to the matrimonial squabble the couples are having, an intense power struggle and battle for the soul of the U.K. branch of the church might be going on between the estranged lovers and partners as well.

The report said Oyakhilome had dropped the first hint that there might be a hierarchical row in the church when he reportedly accused his wife of acting like an equal and wanting to overpower the authorities of the elders she met in the church.

A review of documents filed by the church’s UK branch to the Charity Commission of England and Wales has now shown that Mr. Oyakhilome is no longer a registered trustee of a branch of his church, with total asset worth over N8.2 billion (£31 million).

Until his recent but abrupt removal, Mr. Oyakhilome was consistently listed as a prominent trustee, since 1996, when the branch was established.

Premium Times reports that contrary to the church’s practice of stating reasons for removal of trustees in the past, no reason has been given for the removal of Pastor Oyakhilome.

It is unclear whether explanation for the action would be given in the church’s annual report for 2013 which is yet to be made public by the charity commission.

According to the church’s financial statement, in 2009, five pastors were removed from the church’s Board of Trustees after they resigned from their positions. That same year, two others were appointed.

The international office of Christ Embassy is reported to have refused to respond to the development as well as the international audit and accounting firm, Mazars, appointed by the Charity Commission to run the affairs of the church after it opened statutory inquiry into the finances of the church following suspicious payment it made to connected parties worth N941 million between 2008 and 2012.

However, church insiders claim the removal of the pastor was a plot by his wife to take total control of the affairs of the branch even as her relationship with her husband of two decades deteriorates.

 

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