47-year-old Pastor Ralph Okebu and his 51-year-old wife Prophetess (Mrs) Caroline Okebu are presently fighting over ownership of their church, Victory Pentecostal Ministries International Incorporated in Enugu state.
As a result the church is divided into two factions. The Members belonging to the camp of Pastor Ralph Okebu turn up in the morning while those who belong to his wife's camp, Prophetess (Mrs) Caroline Okebu attend in the afternoon.
The church members were reported to have resorted to fighting each other over the use of the church auditorium located at Km 1 Enugu – Onitsha Expressway before a decision of the church service arrangement for each party was made.
According to a source, it took the intervention of the police to restore some form of order in the church, adding that policemen were stationed in the premises for two Sundays to avoid bloodshed.
Narrating how the crisis began, a lawyer who happens to be the church administrator, Chuks Okonkwo, told SUN "A problem arose in the Church about last year… it followed a prophecy that was released by the prophetess in the ministry, Prophetess Caroline Okebu.
Part of these prophecies touched on the general wellbeing of the Church while a part of it touched on certain members of the Church, including the head pastor, Pastor Ralph Okebu. But the personal message that touched on Pastor Ralph Okebu could be seen to be what led to the factionalisation of the Church because in his own thinking, such a message shouldn’t have been revealed on the pulpit and the message had to deal with his amorous relationship with some female members of the church. And it was a warning. "
The lawyer said "..The police came in and the Enugu State Commissioner of Police personally took over the matter and was mediating. So, as this lasted, the police at some point, about three months ago, decided with the leadership of both factions that the Ralph Okebu led group should be having morning service to dismiss at 12noon while the Prophetess Caroline led group should have their own service thereafter.
Pastor Ralph Okebu and Prophetess Caroline Okebu who are blessed with two daughters, 18 and 16 years respectively as a result of the crisis are no longer living together, Okonkwo said while stating that: "The account from Prophetess Caroline is that Ralph feels that he has arrived, having run the ministry solely more or less financially for 13 years and found love in another woman, a widow who came to the church and was being presented to everyone then as his sister. He calls her Nwannem Nwanyi (my sister). And all of a sudden, they began to go on frolic together; they travel within and outside the country together. Maybe he found more comfort in the arms of the widow. He started by not sleeping in the house for some days until he practically moved out of the house. It was at the beginning of the crises and for the security of the prophetess that her group found an accommodation for her outside the church accommodation where they were staying".
Meanwhile Ralph Okebu had said in the petition he wrote to the Commissioner of Police that he felt his marriage to the prophetess was flawed because the prophetess hid certain facts from him from the onset; that some of these facts were that she was married before.
Going down memory lane, Prophetess Caroline, in a chat, affirmed that she started the ministry in her father’s house while reacting to her husband's claim that she deceived him into marrying her said that was a lie from the pit of hell.
According to her, Ralph was aware of the fact that she had four children from her former husband, insisting that the relationship was duly terminated before Ralph came on board.
She said: “There was no time I deceived him. He used to beg me to marry him but I told him that I was not interested in marriage, all I wanted was to concentrate on the assignment given to me. He started going to my people, disturbing them and begging them to prevail on me to marry him. He used to wear one green slippers. We got married in 1997. At the time, he said he didn’t bother if I had children for him or not afterall his mother had 11 children. But by God’s grace, we had two children,” she explained.
Meanwhile when Sunday Sun contacted Pastor Okebu on April 11, 2014 to give his own side of his story he was unavailable as he said he was in the village.