47-year-old, Tajudeen Idris, was on Friday, arrested by the men of the Ogun State Police Command, while parading himself as a lawyer, before a Magistrate Court in Ogun State.
Idris was arrested when he appeared before Chief Magistrate I.A Arogundade, in Ifo, in a civil trial between one Ifeanyi Chukwu and Ayo Itori.
In a statement by the Command’s image-maker, Abimbola Oyeyemi, the Chief Magistrate became suspicious of the suspect as a result of his conduct and presentation before him.
The suspect informed the Court that he was called to the bar in the year 2009 when asked. However, further enquiry revealed that his name was not among those that were called to the bar that year.
The DPO of Ifo Division, CSP Adeniyi Adekunle, was alerted and the suspect was immediately apprehended for further investigation.
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Edward Ajogun has expressed concern about the increase in the number of people impersonating lawyers thereby swindling people of their hard-earned money.
Oyeyemi said: “The CP recalled that not less than five cases of fake lawyers have been reported since his assumption of office in less than two months ago.
“On the 12th of August 2020, a 56yr old Sylvester Ogbagu was arrested at Shagamu while parading himself as a lawyer, another fake lawyer Adedeji Ebenezer was apprehended in the Court premises at Itori on the 5th of August 2020 while appearing for a client as a lawyer, he was tried and subsequently sentenced to 3 years in prison.
“Another fake lawyer, Elijah Ayodeji Ojo was also arrested in Ajuwon police station on the 28th of June when he came to solicit for a so-called client who was having a criminal matter with the police. Likewise, one Lawrence Oyedunu who was arrested in Sango Ota while presenting himself as a counsel to a suspect.”
The CP, therefore, called on the state branch of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to put necessary machinery in motion to checkmate the activities of these fraudulent people.
He also appealed to those who wish to be a lawyer to take a cue from the determined effort of a traditional ruler in the state “the Towulade of Akinale who at 75yrs of age still endeavours to go to law school because of his interest in the legal profession rather than impersonating.”