Ricochet News

Huge blow as Pastor Tim Omotoso loses second bail application

By Afikile Lugunya - Sep 8, 2017
Huge blow as Pastor Tim Omotoso loses second bail application

Controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Tim Omotoso, who has been languishing in the St Albans Prison since his arrest in April, was dealt another blow on Friday when the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court denied him bail for a second time.

It was busy outside the court were members of the Port Elizabeth branch of the Jesus Dominion Church sang hymns eagerly awaiting to hear the news on Omotoso's latest bail application.

Omotoso entered the court room wearing a shiny spring sparkling suit to hear about his future after ‘new’ facts were represented by his attorneys, which included that:

  • He is a legal immigrant according to a letter he received from the Department of Home Affairs, 
  • He has a fixed address, which has been confirmed,
  • He has been doing charitable deeds around South Africa, and
  • There is a financial statement shown by his congregant showing his financial ties to South Africa.

During his second bid at bail, he was slapped with an additional five charges for contravening the Immigration Act. This is after it emerged that Omotoso has used five passports to move in and out of South Africa since his first visit in 2001. The court also heard that he was now technically an illegal immigrant.

Charges

In addition to the new 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.

He has been waiting for his trial at St Albans Prison after his first bail application failed.

Consequently, his wife, Taiwo, appointed a new legal team and set in motion a new bail bid.

However, the court found that the new legal team had not presented any new facts to warrant bail.

According to Magistrate, Thandeka Mashini, the new legal team only presented information that reflects and constitute the previous bail application.

Magistrate Mashini therefore ruled that this evidence cannot be used to support the new bail application.

Omotoso is expected to appear in court again on the 1st of November for pre-trial proceedings.

National Prosecution Authority (NPA) Spokesperson, Tsepo Ndwalaza, was pleased with the court’s decision of keeping the controversial pastor behind bars.

“As the NPA, we feel vindicated really, we believe that we have been able to convince the court that this man must not get bail.

“We believe that the court has the interest of justice as they refused to give him bail," he said.

“Regarding his new charges - contravention of the immigrant act, the court has been postponed to the 1st of November for the Director of Public Prosecutions' decision, whether to prosecute or not.”

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