By Charles Mgbolu
Shortly after the uproar caused by Lilian Akiyesi who stormed the Overcomers Church World Outreach in Aguda, Surulere, Lagos on Saturday, April 13 to stop a wedding service about to make her husband Solomon Akiyesi and Ms Uloma Agwu man and wife, Overcomers church released a statement signed by Chika Moses a media representative of the church partly condemning Lilian’s actions.
The statement reads…
“What was meant to be a day of celebration – the wedding ceremony of one of our members Uloma Agwu to Mr. Solomon Akiyesi at the Overcomers Church World Outreach in Aguda – was sullied by an ugly incident. Immediately following the praise and worship session and before the officiating commenced, a woman who claims to be the lawful wife of the groom disrupted the ceremony. She was accompanied by people who sought only to wreck havoc in the church. They were unruly and violent.
“We regret the ugly series of events that followed this brash display. At the Overcomers Church, we do our due diligence to ensure a couple set to wed is right in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of God. To the best of our knowledge, Mr. Akiyesi, was unmarried.
“The Overcomers Church World Outreach regrets that the woman who disrupted the wedding chose such a time to do so. There is no ideal situation here, but it would have been right that she bring the case before church officials in a manner befitting a house of worship. This was not the case.
“The groom, Mr. Akiyesi, has apologized to the Church, his bride-to-be, Ms. Agwu, and family and friends that gathered for the wedding. “This happened because I tried to cut corners,” he said. He admits he did not properly dissolve his previous marriage to his first wife and says he is determined to do what is necessary to rectify the awful situation. We apologize for the ugly scene this caused at our Church and apologize to those who witnessed it. It is not exemplary behavior and not who we are as a Church.
“The General Overseer of the Overcomers Church World Outreach, Bishop N.E. Moses, addressed the congregation after order was restored.
“Bishop Moses prayed for the couple, Mr. Akiyesi and Ms. Agwu, but he did not legally wed them – no documents were signed so as not to disobey the law. Mr. Solomon Akiyesi and Ms Uloma Agwu will not be legally joined together until the matter is properly settled by lawful authorities.
“Our Bishop has urged us to take a lesson from this and be careful of the decisions we make in life, so the consequences don’t hurt us in the future. It is a lesson we take well.
“We stand by Ms. Agwu. She has been a dedicated member of the church and we will continue to support her and Mr. Akiyesi. It is our hope and prayer that in all of this, God is glorified and His house of worship above reproach.
After reactions poured online, with a huge chunk condemning the church’s stand on the matter. Overcomers Church has issued fresh statements.
“This is a follow up to our statement from Saturday, April 13, following the disrupted wedding of Mr. Solomon Akiyesi to Ms. Uloma Agwu.
“In light of the media mayhem that has erupted with tabloids spinning their own version of events, we find it necessary to make a final statement on the matter and hope that listening ears and hearts will understand the decisions we have made as a church.
“Let’s start by addressing some of the rumours that have been perpetuated on several gossip blogs and tabloids.
“Mr. Akiyesi is not a member of the Overcomers Church World Outreach. We heard no word of an existing marriage to Mrs. Lilian Akiyesi.
“Many have pointed out that perhaps the Overcomers Church failed to do its due diligence in investigating Mr. Akiyesi thoroughly. We concede the point and will ensure that our Marriage Committee is equipped with a travel fund that will allow travel to visit with family members of engaged couples and ensure both the prospective brides and grooms are in fact who they say they are.
“Ms. Uloma Agwu is a staunch member of the Overcomers Church. We regret that she was deceived by Mr. Akiyesi who lied, not only to her, but her family and Church as well. There is however no dishonesty on her part. She was unaware that a Mrs. Akiyesi already existed.
“Furthermore, Ms. Agwu is not pregnant, as published by tabloids. That is a vicious lie that we hope to clear up.
“No semblance of a wedding between her and Mr. Akiyesi took place at the Overcomers Church on Saturday. No vows were said, no rings exchanged and no marriage certificate handed out and the Church has NO INTENTION of endorsing such a union.
“We respect the sanctity of Marriage at the Overcomers Church and will continue to uphold what is right and virtuous about the institution of marriage.
“We do not endorse divorce and work instead to counsel troubled marriages and build stronger unions. Those who know us, know that.
“Which brings us to the final misconception. The Overcomers Church does not fault Mrs. Lilian Akiyesi’s right to put a stop to a marriage that is not permissible in the eyes of the law and of God. As a matter of fact, we thank her for doing so and saving our sister, Ms. Agwu, from what would have been a disastrous union.
“What we DO NOT endorse and will not stand for as a church is a group of people bringing a fight into the House of God. We will protect and defend our house of worship.
“We learned that Mrs Akiyesi had arranged for police personnel days before the wedding and was already present at the Church hours before the wedding ceremony started. The right thing here would have been to alert church officials and present her case in a manner befitting a house of worship.
“The wedding would not have taken place, and Mr. Akiyesi and his wife would have been sent along to sort out their lives together; which is what we have done now.
“We strongly disapprove of the way Mrs. Akiyesi and her family and friends handled the matter. It brought shame to this house of worship. We also strongly abhor the actions Mr. Akiyesi, as well. His deception brought shame and disgrace, not only to the house of God, but also to his wife and Ms. Uloma Agwu.
“Let us state in no uncertain terms, the relationship between Ms. Agwu and Mr. Akiyesi was dissolved yesterday afternoon after all the facts were brought to light.
“We stand by our decision to pray for Mr. Akiyesi and Ms. Agwu following the ugly incident. No matter the wrongdoing, we commit all things into the hands of God, the ultimate judge. We will continue to support Ms. Agwu and pray for peace for all parties involved. We pray that God reaches into every heart and brings healing, so we can all move in our spiritual walk.”