Ikpeba was discovered by Belgian club RFC Liégeois during the 1989 FIFA U-17 World Championship, and moved to play in Belgium together with teammate Sunday Oliseh. At the age of 20, after scoring 17 goals in 1992–93. Ikpeba was bought by French side AS Monaco then coached by Arsène Wenger, where he gradually became a success, albeit with a tough start. He showed outstanding form subsequent to the 1996 Olympics, scoring 13 league goals to help Monaco win the league title, and also finishing as the second-top goalscorer in the 1996–97 UEFA Cup. His performances earned him the African Footballer of the Year award in 1997. Two successful seasons followed. While at Monaco, Ikpeba nearly signed for Italian club Reggina, but his wife, unwilling to give up life in France, locked him in their house on the day he was to sign his contract.
Ikpeba teamed up with Sunday Oliseh at Borussia Dortmund in 1999, for a transfer fee of £4.8m. Ikpeba scored only two goals in his first season in the Bundesliga and barely played in his second, after falling out with the coach Matthias Sammer. Looking for a move abroad, Ikpeba turned down Southampton, to join Real Betis on a season-long loan. Things went further downhill for the player in Spain as he was criticised for being overweight by the coach, after making just one appearance for the club. He didn't feature for Betis again up until the last two games of the season.
Ikpeba then signed a season-long contract with LibyanAl-Ittihad, but only played out half of his contract with the club, as he quit the team over financial disagreements. After leaving Libya and spending almost a year without a club, Ikpeba returned to Belgium, where he joined his former Liège coach at Charleroi. After helping the club to avoid relegation, Ikpeba came very close to signing with the German Bundesliga side SC Freiburg, but the deal fell through when it was revealed that the player had no EU passport. Ikpeba then had a short spell at Al-Sadd in Qatar, before retiring from professional football.