lawyer? You that appeared with me at the High Court
taking pleas and repeatedly asking for adjournment for
your client? God, wonders shall never end! This was the angry reaction of an unnamed police prosecutor who was shocked to the marrows for beholding
his 'learned colleague' in handcuffs for an offence of. impersonation and receiving stolen vehicles. This incident
took place at the dreaded anti-robbery squad, Edo State command.
Investigation showed that the fake barrister had, severally, appeared at a
Benin High Court to defend persons standing trial for car
snatching and armed
robbery. However, it was learnt that he always outwitted Judges by repeatedly asking for
adjournment to enable his client fully brief him.
Unfortunately for the fake barrister, in between time,
another 'client' of his had been arrested for car snatching and armed robbery and during investigation, it was discovered that the same 'Barrister' was the buyer of the stolen cars after his complimentary card was recovered from the
suspected car snatcher.
Police, according to sources, intensified manhunt for him
and he reportedly fled from his Abuja residence. He equally abandoned the criminal case at the high court at the detriment of his 'client'.
But the Police later scooped that the 'property lawyer'
was hiding in far away
Nasarrawa state and
detectives didn't waste in going for him. He was later rounded up in a hotel upon a tip-off.
It was equally discovered
that the fake barrister
normally send car
specifications to the
snatchers making it possible for them to know which to snatch.
When his Abuja home was searched, different
pictures of assorted Camry cars, letter. heads of various
chambers and car plate
numbers were recovered.
When cornered by Crime
Alert, the alleged fake
barrister openly confessed that the name on his complimentary card was not his real name. He only volunteered to tell his age and how he got into police net. "Just take the name they are calling me for my name but I know what my real names are.
I am 37 years old and from Orumba-South in Anambra state. I went to Enugu state university where I studied Law till four hundred level. But I was hit by a strange
illness which was later
diagnosed as epilepsy.
The shame of constantly
falling down in the lecture room and being abandoned by my colleagues made me
abandon my law course.
However, the urge to keep body and soul together made me seek appointment in a law firm in Abuja and I
was asked to man the
If you look at my
complimentary cards on the ground very well, you would have seen that I am designated to man the property/ litigation department of the chamber.
That is what I do; I am
grounded in property
matters. I have never told anybody that I am a barrister because
I know I did not complete my law course neither was I called to the bar. The case I
had at the High court was a criminal one which bordered on stolen cars. The
allegation was that I was the one that acted as a go- between for the sellers and buyers of the stolen vehicles.
There is none that I bought by myself because I hadn't such amount of money. If
the car snatcher is to be
sincere, he should be able to tell you the truth that I only got him a buyer for the car he brought to Abuja for sale.
It is not as if I appeared for a client in the matter like the police man claimed, I was a
witness. Perhaps, the
mistake I did at the court was to announce myself as a member of the profession.
But of course again, I am a lawyer because there is no single aspect of the law that I do not know. The mistake I
made in this matter was
that, when the seller of the Camry car brought it for sale in Abuja, I claimed to be the
one buying it and he sold it to me for N800,000.00 and
it was even with registered number.
Because it was Tokunbo and a snatched one, the price was reduced. At the market, the same car, especially the
Belgium ones could go for N1.7m . To tell you the truth, since I bought the car, nobody has shown up to say it belongs to him or her.
I did not buy two cars from him contrary to what he is saying, it was just one. I can
swear by anything. The
Camry was an ash- colored one. I got to know this man
(car snatcher) when I came to court in Benin here in January. Somebody whom I
met at the court introduced
him to me as one dealing on Tokubo cars and that he normally brings them for sale in Abuja.
That was how we struck a deal and I told him that anytime he comes to Abuja, he should call me. Not up to a month, he called me and said he was looking for one
Nasiru in Abuja which turned out to be somebody I know.
Before then, I had told him that I was not interested in stolen cars because the one I bought earlier landed me in trouble. All I did was to volunteer Mr. Nasiru's telephone number and that
was exactly what I did.
After the bargain, I got my N150,000. Even when the Police came for me , I told them that I would assist them to the best of my knowledge. I knew the car he brought was a stolen one; no need to lie."
But the alleged car snatcher, who had watched patiently
while the fake barrister was narrating his side of the case gestured to this reporter and
said; "Oga, e don happen, e don happen. I want to tell the truth but one thing that I desire is forgiveness.
Lawyer is lying. He knew that I am an armed robber , that I snatch cars for sale.
He has bought two cars from me. The first one was ash- colored Camry 2008 model
and it was bought for the sum of N400,000.00. I got
to know 'lawyer through one guy called Sunny. I told him the car was for N600,000. But he said no, that he could
not pay more than
N400,000. So, I sold that one to him.
The second one was with double exhaust and I wanted to sell it for N700,000. He also pleaded and paid me
N450,000 for that.
So, all those stories he is telling you are all lies. I am an armed robber and I cannot deny that. But the only thing I want, like I said before, is forgiveness; forgiveness from man and God."
In his reaction, Edo State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Mr. Etim Bassey, an Assistant Superintendent of police
said, "The self-acclaimed lawyer has been on the run when he discovered that the
man who supplied him
snatched cars was in our net. Because we are aware that he had a pending case at the
high court, our men were always laying ambush for him at the court premises but he would not appear.
We were even about going for a bench warrant so that we could arrest him because as a lawyer, we were playing
safe until information got to us that he was hiding at Nasarrawa state and that he
was not a lawyer after all. Upon his arrest, he also confessed not being a lawyer whereas, when he came to stand surety for his client, he attached his card as a lawyer on the file.
However, at the end of the investigation, only the court can decide his fate."