An Ekiti State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, has sentenced one Abayomi Kayode to six months imprisonment for unlawfully parading himself as a lawyer in the state.
The defendant was convicted after the Ikere branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) petitioned the police over his activities in the state.
He was alleged to be using a forged lawyer’s seal and had claimed to have graduated from the Ekiti State University, which was proven to be false.
In a judgment delivered on Friday, the magistrate, I. T Ola-Olorun held that the accused was found guilty on two-counts with an option to pay a fine of N50,000 respectively.
Counsel to the defendant, Tope Salami, had earlier pleaded that the court be considerate with his client since he pleaded guilty and showed remorse.
Responding to the judgment, the NBA Chairman, Ikere Branch, Kike Owolabi, said the fake lawyer remained a convict despite the fact he was given an option of fine.
She said he was identified as a fake lawyer through intelligence reports, noting that it has served as an eye-opener to the noble legal profession.
Owolabi said, ”He pleaded guilty to the charges and admitted that he was a fake lawyer. The court convicted him with the option of a fine, although he paid. He remains an ex-convict as of today.
“We got to know through some intelligence reports but I met him about three months ago and we have been tracking him down.
“This is an eye-opener to us that some individuals can impersonate our profession.”
She said measures have been taken to curb such occurrences in the future in a bid to protect the profession from quacks.
Owolabi said, “As Ikere branch of NBA, we have decided to open a call log register for all of our members. Each of the Associates is to take details of our lawyers and verify their certificates to ensure that no one impersonates the legal profession.
“We intend to extend that to other branches in Ekiti to ensure that we rid the profession of fake lawyers.”