Four more charges laid against Al-Noor Orphanage director
It was when she continued her bid for bail. The court heard the State added three more charges relating to the Contravention of Immigration Act and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Okpara, who indicated she would plead not guilty to all charges against her, was arrested by the Hawks on June 14 for fraud and corruption charges.
Defence attorney Andre Johnston said his client’s medical condition was “exceptionally dire”.
“I ask the court to take cognisance of my medical condition. As a result of the stroke I suffered, my ability to remember things has been affected.
“I have a family who depends on me, inclusive of a daughter who is currently without her father and as a result of my incarceration, is now without a mother,” said Okpara.
She said her incarceration has caused her “severe emotional stress and anxiety” and feared this would cause another stroke.
Okpara said her family could pay R5 000 for her release on bail. However, state prosecutor Adiel Jansen stuck by the decision to refuse bail.
Jansen said Okpara was a flight risk who had intended “at the first opportunity on her release, would flee the country”.
According to the State, they have evidence that Okpara’s husband, Shadrach - who is currently in Nigeria, looking after his ill mother - called her “to make plans to leave the country”, after she was arrested.
Okpara, according to the State, is currently building two homes in Nigeria and said she would evade her trial if granted bail.
Jansen also read into the record the affidavit by Hawks investigating officer Michael Darries who referred to Okpara by two names in his documents – Amani Fonguh and Amina Okpara.
They found she “had two marriages of convenience trying to legitimise her stay in South Africa”.
The matter was postponed until Monday for further evidence.