Luck has run out on one Olayomi Adegbite, who allegedly paraded himself as a lawyer at a Lagos magistrate’s court in Ogba.
It was learnt that the 34-year-old had appeared as a counsel, applying for the bail of a defendant arraigned in court for stealing.
PUNCH Metro gathered that as Adegbite made the bail application, a presiding magistrate of Court 5 where the defendant was arraigned observed flaws in his presentation.
The magistrate, Mrs. Temitope Oladele, who is on induction under Chief Magistrate O.J. Awope, was said to have invited him to her office for questioning upon which it was discovered that he was never called to the bar.
A lawyer at the court, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had warned Adegbite on several occasions of the consequences of his action, but he refused.
“He started coming to the court in December. He would dress as a lawyer and walk around to assist defendants to perfect their bails. He was working with a lawyer. I approached him to stop parading himself as a lawyer, but he was furious with me.
“On February 24, 2017, he appeared at Court 5 to hold brief for the lawyer in a case of stealing. When the magistrate noticed that he could not apply for the defendant’s bail, she summoned him to her chambers,” he said.
He was subsequently arrested by policemen from the Ikeja division and brought to Court 4 on Thursday by a police prosecutor, Sergeant Raphael Donny, on one count of impersonation.
The charge read, “That you, Olayomi Adegbite, on February 24, 2017, at about 12pm, at Court 5, Ogba, in the Ikeja Magisterial District, did impersonate a member of the Nigerian Bar Association without having a certificate to prove yourself, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 78 (b) of the Criminal Law, No 11, Vol. 44, Law of Lagos State, 2011.”
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge.
The presiding magistrate, Mrs. Davies Abegunde, consequently sentenced him to 100 hours of community service across magistrates’ courts in Lagos, except Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry magistrates’ courts.
The magistrate added that he should place placards with inscriptions, ‘I am a fake lawyer,’ on his front and back while cleaning the courts.
As Adegbite was serving the punishment on Friday at Ogba Court, PUNCH Metro heard him telling some court officials that he knew those behind his “ordeal.”
When our correspondent approached him for comment on the incident, he said, “I have nothing to say now.”