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‘Fake’ lawyer arrested in Kisii

A man has been taken into police custody in Kisii after he was arrested for allegedly masquerading as a lawyer.

According to the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) -South Nyanza West Branch and the police, the suspect, Benard Cheki Matware has been illegally operating in the name of Omariba and Company Advocates

Mr Cheki had gone to the office of Kisii County Lands Registrar, Charles Ayienda, who ended up exposing him to the police.

“The Lands Registrar, Mr Charles Ayienda reported that a person purporting to be an advocate went to his office saying he was acting on instructions of his client, Venny Bosibori Ezekiel,” Kisii County Police Commander Charles Kases said on Saturday.

The suspect had gone to the office to assist the unsuspecting client obtain land sale documents, and according to the police he had obtained Sh40,000 from her.

When Mr Ayienda asked the suspect when he started to practice, he was unable to explain, let alone produce a practicing certificate.

Mr Kases said the suspect was arrested at the lands office and taken into the police cells.

“Forms that were duly signed by the suspect were recovered from the suspect,” Mr Kases informed.

LSK’s South Nyanza West Branch chairman, Benard Gichana, Secretary General Justus Maeche and lawyer George Morara led members in putting on notice individuals who masquerade as advocates in the region, saying their days were numbered.

“When we got wind of the incident, we went to the lands office where the suspect changed the narrative and claimed that he was a clerk at a law firm. He had documents including land sale agreements and transfer forms,” Mr Gichana said.

Mr Maeche said such an incident was likely to erode the trust that members of the public had placed on legal practitioners in their pursuit of justice.

“The client had paid stamp duty in March yet her transaction was yet to be concluded,” Mr Maeche said, adding that they will not allow any unqualified and unregistered individual to operate as an advocate in the region.

Mr Kases said the suspect will be presented to court to face charges including personating an advocate and obtaining money by false pretense.

 

rmbula@ke.nationmedia.com

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