A Court on Tuesday, September 6th, rescinded bail and ordered the re-arrest of a Nigerian national who escaped to Hungary while waiting for trial over the trafficking of drugs to Malta.
Stephen Ikechukwu Egbo, 32, was arrested in November 2010 and charged with conspiracy to import cocaine. Police investigations led to the seizure of 60 capsules of cocaine that had been discovered in the stomach of a Romanian drug mule who had arrived in Malta from Germany a week before. Drugs Squad had later carried out a controlled delivery to the Nigerian’s home in San Gwann and arrested him.
Egbo was granted bail under very strict conditions which stated he had ro register daily at a Police Station which he claimed made his holding of a job difficult as his security guard licence had been withdrawn. He further said he began a relationship with a Hungarian woman, she became pregnant and returned to her country. When he sent a notarised letter to Hungary Authorities seeking recognition as the father of the child, he was told he would have to be in the country to obtain the recognition.
Egbo failed to turn up for several court sittings in December 2015, with the police discovering that he had changed his address without informing them. He was arrested in Hungary last March and returned to Malta under police escort.
Egbo told the court he had decided to go to Hungary because the legal procedures against him was dragging. In her judgment, Magistrate Scerri Herrera ruled that although the prosecution had declared that it had no further evidence to produce in 2014, it took till March 2016 for the criminal inquiry to be concluded.
The Court called on the Attorney General to issue the Bill of Indictment without further delay, while pointing out to the accused that he was afforded remedies at law to contest such a situation.
The Court ordered the Nigerian’s bail to be was revoked, be kept under arrest and confiscated his €2,500 deposit and €35,000 personal guarantee.