By Ebere Aham
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a 66-year-old man, who has been practising as a lawyer for 22 years. The suspect, Kayode Jones, who was paraded yesterday by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, at the command’s headquarters in Ikeja, was arrested in a lawyer’s garb, at the Lagos Judiciary 2016/2017 legal year event on Tuesday, in the premises of the Igbosere Division of the state High Court.
During interrogation, the suspect who was discovered to have been arrested earlier, over similar offence, maintained that he is a lawyer.
Defending his claim, he boasted that he had appeared before several judges in courts, revealing that out of the 14 cases he had appeared in courts for, he had won only one.
According to him, “I have been a lawyer for 22 years. I picked up the trait after I won my first case against Niger Guard Security. I used to be a private guard with the security company.
“I took them to court when they did not pay my salary in 1995. Luckily, all my prayers were granted and I was allowed to represent myself in the case.
“I appeared before Justice Sotuminu and I won the motion. Then, I did not wear the robe. But I started wearing the robe in January 2013.
“Also, I have done nothing wrong in this case and should not be arrested, as Section 22 (6) of Legal Practitioner Law of Lagos State, 2004, states ‘no proceeding shall commence after the offence has been committed for three years’. So I have done nothing wrong.”
Asked if he read law, he replied, “I went to Origbo Community High School in Ife, Oyo State. I went to Christ Apostolic Church Grammar School in Ibadan. Thereafter, I proceeded to the Chartered Institute of Administration in Lagos, where I studied Public Administration in the 90s. I read it up to the intermediate level.
“In 1994, I was employed as a Litigation Officer to a law firm in Surulere, Lagos.
“Along the line, I stumbled on the High Court Rules that someone who is not a lawyer could appear in person. That was where I summoned the courage to represent myself in court against Niger Guard Security.
“I am a member of NBA Lagos State as a Litigation Officer and I pay practicing fees and branch dues. But I have been questioned on this same matter that got me arrested by the branch chairman, Alex Mouka, who took me to Lion’s Building Police Division, where I was warned not to practice or take up law cases again since I was not qualified to do so.
“I told them that my principal allowed me to practice, since I was a Litigation Officer and also authorised me to file cases in court and pay the practising fee, which was N300.
“The Federal High Court assisted me with it because I don’t have money to buy any of them.
“So far, I have appeared before Justices Yunusa, Ofili and Buba at the Court of Appeal and none of them suspected I was fake. I have appeared in court 14 times, but won only one case, which was that against the Niger Guard security.”
At this point, he became sober, saying “I am praying for leniency since they rejected all of my pleadings. Since I have been taken to the police before and I have been warned already, I should be given a second chance. I will quit totally.”
Owoseni said the suspect would be charged to court.