By Shittu Adebisi Fatima
An Iyaganku Chief Magistrates’ Court in Ibadan on Monday sentenced a 57-year-old man, Emmanuel Ojo, to three years and six months imprisonment for presenting himself as lawyer.
In her ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Mrs Abiona Richard, ordered that Ojo should be jailed at the Agodi Prison for impersonating a lawyer and announcing his appearance in court in a case.
“The convict should serve the term with hard labour to serve as a deterrent to others who may have it in mind to call themselves lawyers, which they are not,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ojo was arraigned on a two- count charge of conspiracy and impersonation.
The Prosecutor, Insp Sunday Ogunremi, told the court that Ojo and others now at large conspired to commit the offences between 2010 and 2017.
Ogunremi said that the offences were committed at Mobolaji Law Chambers at No.1, Winner’s way, Bashorun, Ibadan.
The prosecutor said that the convict had presented himself to be a lawyer on March 27 by announcing his appearance as legal counsel at the Chief Magistrates’ Court II, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
“He appeared in court and held watching brief in a case with charge number MI/1543C/2016, knowing same to be impersonation before the court.
“The convict confessed that he had been a clerk working with the chambers for a long time and thereby gained access to letter head papers of the office which he used as a lawyer,’’ said Ogunremi.
He said the offences contravened Section 516 and 484 of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Vol. II Laws of Oyo State, 2000.
NAN reports that the convict had pleaded not guilty when arraigned, but later changed his plea to guilty before he was sentenced.