Nigerian footballer who plays for a local football club has been remanded in custody after immigration officials ousted him for forging his resident permit when he came back from a trip abroad.
Chibueze Attah, 22, from Nigeria, was arrested at the airport yesterday as he returned on a flight from Munich after an immigration officer noticed that the expiry date on his residence permit had been tampered with.
Attah pleaded not guilty to charges of forgery, possession of forged documents and making use of forged documents. The footballer’s lawyers, Lennox Vella and Charlton Falzon Cascun requested bail.
The prosecution, however, objected to this with the reason that he would probably abscond to prevent him from facing the law.
His lawyers made a case for him stating that he was in Malta to play football, thus, it would be foolish, and quite impossible for him to leave everything he came for and run away. They also suggested that sending him to prison would be a harsh punishment for a crime committed by a 21 year-old who didn’t know better. They asked that he be granted bail and instead put under strict supervision of the football club at all times to ensure he doesn’t miss any court date.
Magistrate Gabriella Vella denied bail, however, stating that at this stage, the court was “not at all convinced” of Attah’s ties to Malta