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Controversial Pastor Tim Omotoso to make another bid for bail on Monday

By Afikile Lugunya - Jul 21, 2017
Controversial Pastor Tim Omotoso to make another bid for bail on Monday

The case against controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Tim Omotoso, who has been languishing at St Albans Prison since April, was postponed to Monday when he made a brief appearance before the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Omotoso, who was wearing a blue suit and seemed to have lost some weight, will again make another bid for bail.

His new attorney, James Riley, told the court that they will present new facts that will show why he qualified to be released on bail.

The Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court denied Omotoso bail on the 9th of June agreeing with the State that he was a flight risk and could interfere with investigations.

Magistrate Sanjani Naidoo granted the Defence’s application for a new bail bid.

Addressing the media outside the court, Riley said that he will be taking over as Omotoso's new legal representative because his previous attorneys no longer represent him.

“My instructions are to launch a new bail application based on new facts and the matter has been rolled over to Monday in order for that bail application to takes place,” Riley said.

Failed bail bid

Omotoso was arrested by the Hawks in dramatic fashion in April at the Port Elizabeth International Airport on allegations of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

During his failed bail bid, the Department of Home Affairs told the court that he was actually in South Africa illegally.

A Home Affairs immigration officer, Ivan Klaasen, who was handed over five passports belonging to Omotoso by the defence team to investigate, told the court that while he was given five travel documents, he picked up from the system that the disgraced man of cloth had used six passports since the year 2000.

Klaasen further said that one of the passports had a Visa that entitled Omotoso to one entry into the country, however, the pastor had used it three times and it was never scanned.

He said that the Visa doesn’t have a barcode where authorities can refer to, which means that all the extensions and new working permits that were produced afterwards were illegal.

Klaasen concluded that pastor Omotoso is in the country illegally.

Charges

Omotoso faces 22 charges relating to sexual exploitation and human trafficking after eighteen more charges were added to the original four. He is alleged to have sexually abused several young women at his church in Umhlanga, Durban, under the pretext of healing them.

The disgraced man of cloth was arrested on the 20th of April by the Hawks shortly after he landed at the Port Elizabeth International Airport after evading arrest for days after the scandal came out. Rumours had made rounds that he had already skipped the country.

At the airport, he had apparently tried to avoid arrest by first lying about his flight's arrival time then hiding in public toilets at the airport when he found armed officers waiting for him.

Still, his followers believe he is innocent.