Nigerian pastor’s lawyer makes bid to have 63 charges squashed

South Africa

The lawyer representing a Nigerian pastor and his two alleged accomplices charged with human trafficking brought an application in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday to have a total of 63 charges and 34 alternative charges against them dropped.

The Nigerian pastor is facing charges which include human trafficking, rape, sexual assault, racketeering and conspiracy in aiding another person to commit sexual assault.

The two women are accused of recruiting girls from all over the country for purposes of sexual exploitation.

The 58-year-old televangelist allegedly trafficked more than 30 girls and women who were from various branches of his church to a house in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, where he allegedly sexually exploited them.

He is also facing charges of fraud and for being in the country illegally.

All three of the accused are being represented by Port Elizabeth attorney, Peter Daubermann.

Daubermann argued that the charge sheet provided by the State was “fatally defective” and did not comply with the constitution.

“The accused are entitled to be informed of the charges with sufficient detail so the accused can answer for it. The indictment falls far short of meeting that requirement,” said Daubermann.

Daubermann argued that the indictment did not specify time or month and in some instances no year was specified for when an alleged offence was committed.

He said that the charge sheet did not comply with the law and should be struck out on the basis that it infringed upon the rights of his clients to a fair trial.

The pastor was arrested on April 20 last year, by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, at the Port Elizabeth Airport.

According to the State, some of the alleged victims were as young as 13-years-old.

The pastor has been denied bail on two occasions, as he was deemed a flight risk. The women were arrested in November last year and are out on bail of R2 000.

Judge Mandela Makaula will hand down judgment in the applications later on Monday.

African News Agency/ANA


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