A 66-year-old man, once arrested for parading himself as a lawyer, has been apprehended for pretending to be a member of the silk. This time, however, he told the police stoically that he had committed no crime.
The suspect, Jones Kayode, a school certificate holder, said that he started posing as a lawyer after he was sacked from his former place of work for stealing a wall clock. Kayode was apprehended at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, during the Legal Year celebration of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) on Tuesday.
He said: “I don’t feel bad. I have not done anything wrong. Section 22, Sub-section 2 of the Lagos State Legal Practitioners Act 2004 reads that no proceeding shall commence after three years against someone.
I have been doing this since 2013, and as a result of that, I have not committed any offence. Some court officials assisted me in procuring the gown, wig and some other necessary documents. I have appeared in court four times.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, said Kayode wore lawyer’s gown and wig and sat in the auditorium of the church, participating in the Legal Year celebration like a genuine lawyer. He was sighted by a lawyer who knew him as fake. The man, who saw Kayode, blew the whistle on him.
He was led out of the event by policemen. A police source said: “This man has once been arrested for impersonation. He was taken to the police station. The lawyer, who got him arrested, was the same lawyer that got him arrested the first time. He was cautioned and allowed to go the first time by the police because of his age.
Now, I don’t think he would be allowed to go. He is going to be charged for impersonation.” But Kayode said he started going to court to represent himself after he was sacked by his former employer for stealing a wall clock.
He said: “I been to court for about four times, but during this period, I never represented anybody. I only went there to defend myself as a lawyer. I read in the law book that someone can represent himself. I don’t have enough qualification. The only certificate I have is ‘A level’ and some professional certificates.
“I was at the Legal Year celebration of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), at the Cathedral Church, Marina, when I was arrested by the police. I was sitting in the church when the former chairman of the NBA saw me and called policemen.
“The first time I was arrested, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the station said they released me because I was old enough to be their father. They, however, warned me sternly. After the policemen freed me, the former NBA chairman also warned me. He said that I should not go to Ikeja High Court again.
He said that whatever happened to me, I should carry my cross. I’m not impersonating anybody. The law says I can represent myself in the court and that is exactly what I was doing. It was on that ground that I started going to court to represent myself and some clients who invited me.”