An estranged pastor’s wife, Mrs. Rebecca Bamidele, has narrated to an Ojo Customary Court in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, how her husband, Pastor Israel Bamidele, engaged his female prayer partner in his bedroom overnight, an act which she alleged contributed to the crashing of their 15-year old marriage.
Giving evidence in a divorce petition which her husband, a school proprietor and pastor, filed against her in the court, Rebecca said although her husband falsely accused her of infidelity, it was Bamidle who brought his prayer partner (names withheld) to his bedroom for prayers.
"I was surprised that my husband locked his prayer partner, wife of another man, in his bedroom overnight. The act not only led to cracks in our marriage but it also led to the break up in the female prayer partner’s home because after I had left him, people were still seeing my husband and the woman together."
"Her husband eventually sent her packing from her matrimonial home," Rebecca disclosed. Pastor Bamidele filed the divorce petition against his wife, claiming frequent fighting, lack of care and that he no longer loves Rebecca who bore him three children.
When asked the position of her husband’s family on the crisis that engulfed their relationship, Rebecca said she once travelled to Osun State in southwest Nigeria to meet her mother-in-law but the old woman said she should allow her husband marry another wife because her father-in-law, who is a prophet, married three wives.
She said, "When I returned to Lagos, my husband quarrelled with me, saying why should I go to his homestead in Osun State to inform his mother about issues in our marriage in our Lagos home?"
Apart from the issue of hosting his prayer partner in his bedroom, Rebecca alleged that she caught the pastor sleeping with his school secretary for about a week but she could not complain because her husband would beat her silly.
She said, "Anytime I complain, my husband will say I was becoming too stubborn for him. He would say in Yoruba, ‘ila ti n ga ju onire lo’, meaning, the okro plant was becoming taller than the farmer."
When the court asked about the role played by other pastors and elders in the crisis, Rebecca said Pastor Bamidele is the founder and general overseer of his church and the other leaders were surbordinated to him because he appointed them.
The court president, Prince Hakeem Tunde Oyekan, adjourned the matter till 27 August, 2013 for judgement.