Home affairs keeps watch on Okah case

2010-11-09 18:12

Johannesburg - The home affairs department was keeping a close watch at the bail application of Nigerian terror accused Henry Okah, as it doubted his legality in the country, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

"We have reason to believe that there is a need to investigate further his permit (for stay) in the country," departmental spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.

The department suspected that there may have been irregularities in the issuing of Okah's permanent citizenship in 2006.

Okah, who is accused of being the mastermind behind the October 1 bombings in Abuja faces charges of terrorism in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court.

He is accused of being the leader of Nigerian rebel group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed 12 people and injured 36 others.

Mamoepa refused to comment on whether the presence of his department's inspectors at Okah's bail hearing was an indication that home affairs wanted to arrest him if he was granted bail.

"Home affairs is there (at the court) as a friend of the court."

The investigation into Okah's permit started when he was arrested on October 2.

His case is set for judgement on November 12.