An Ogun State Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ijebu Ode, on Thursday, 2nd day of July, 2020, remanded one Audu Abdulahi, accused of impersonating a lawyer, in a correctional centre pending the perfection of his bail.
According to the Public Relations officer/Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Ijebu Ode Branch,
Moruff O. Balogun, the 52 years old man was arraigned on the following counts before the Magistrate court 1 at Ijebu Ode Magisterial District, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
In the course of the suspect ‘appearing for his clients’, the opposing lawyer noticed some fundamental errors in the processes filed and decided to call the attention of the Judge to them. For instance, the suspect instead of “I want to amend the processes”, said, “I want to repair the processes”.
The Charge sheet reads in part:
Count 1: That you Abudulahi ‘m’ on the 23rd day of June, 2020 in the day time at Wema Bank Plc, Ijebu Ode Magisterial District did obtain the sum of One Hundred Thousand Naira from His Royal Highness Oni-Isiwo of Isiwo, Oba Salisu Adedoyin for legal fee and knowing yourself not to be a Legal Practitioner and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 419 of the criminal code laws of Ogun State of Nigeria, 2006.
Count 2: That you Abudulahi ‘m’ on the 24th day of June, 2020 at about 1000hrs at the High Court Ijebu Ode in the Ijebu Ode Magisterial District did impersonate yourself to be a Legal Practitioner, knowing yourself to be false before His Lordship Hon. Justice A.O. Asenuga and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 484 of the criminal code laws of Ogun State of Nigeria, 2006.
Count 3 : That you Abudulahi ‘m’ on the same date, time and place at the aforementioned Magisterial District did conduct yourself in a likely manner to cause breach of peace by presenting yourself to be a Legal Practitioner knowing within yourself not to be and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 249[d] of the criminal code laws of Ogun State of Nigeria, 2006.”
The defendant Audu Abudulahi pleaded not guilty to all the 3 counts after the registrar of the court read the charge(s) to him.
The prosecutor Inspector Shakirat Kelani informed the court that she is ready for the trial of the case.
The court His Worship A.S. Soneye granted bail to the defendant in the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Naira only (#500,000:00) with two responsible sureties in the like sum. The two sureties must have landed properties in Ijebu Ode within Magisterial District of the court. Both sureties must be residing in Ijebu Ode Magisterial District. They must present utility bill to show their current addresses. One of the sureties must have a developed landed property within the court’s Magisterial District, and the title documents from the relevant government agencies must be attached to the bail bond. The two sureties must be persons of substantial means and they must depose to the affidavit of means with their recent passport photographs attached. The verification of the houses and places of work of the sureties is to be done by the court.
The magistrate adjourned the matter till 7th day of July, 2020 for definite hearing.
The Nigerian Bar Association Ijebu Ode branch’s chairman Bisi Abdul-Azeez, Esq., informed the court of the NBA’s interest in the matter. He said the NBA Ijebu Branch shall ensure that quackery becomes a thing of the past as the body shall see that justice is transparently and manifestly done in this matter.
The chairman stated that the primary duty of every lawyer in Nigeria is to act as minister in the temple of justice, and to always uphold and defend the integrity and nobility of the bar.
Meanwhile, the Branch executive, during its emergency meeting held on Friday the 3rd day of July, 2020, resolved that it will appear to, inter Alia, hold watching brief on the next date of adjourment.