An accused fake lawyer from Nairobi, Kenya, was arrested on Thursday on charges that he wrongly claimed to be an advocate of the High Court of Kenya.
Reports say the lawyer won all 26 cases he went up against in front of High Court Judges, Magistrates, and Court of Appeal Judges before he was caught.
The Rapid Action Team (RAT) of the Law Society of Kenya Nairobi Branch arrested him on charges of fake pretence.
How the fake lawyer was uncovered
In fact, Brian Mwenda Ntwiga actually exists on the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) portal. But it belongs to another lawyer. When the legitimate lawyer, Brian Mwenda Ntwiga, tried to log into the system, but didn’t succeed, he reached out to LSK. That is when the impostor was uncovered.
He was caught when RAT got reports from the people. He is being held at their headquarters pending further investigation.
Law Society of Kenya reacts
The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has said Brian Mwenda, the suspected imposter, got into their computers and started practising law.
Addressing members of the LSK, Eric Theuri, its president, said that Mwenda had stolen Brian Mwenda Ntwiga’s name through a scam called Business Email Compromise (BEC).
“It has been brought to the attention of the LSK Nairobi Branch through the Rapid Action Team (RAT), that the above-pictured person has been presenting and conducting himself as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a member of the LSK Nairobi Branch,” LSK wrote on X.
Tweet from the Law Society of Kenya (LSK)
LSK said Ntwiga confirmed that he hadn’t asked for a practice certificate since August 2022, when he was admitted to the bar. This is because he had been working at the Office of the Attorney General and didn’t need one.
“It was only sometime in September 2023 when he attempted to log in to the system and activate his profile with the intention of applying for his practising certificate that he realized he could not access his LSK portal,” LSK’s President, Theuri, said.
Theuri added that “he promptly alerted the ICT personnel at the Secretariat via email on September 28, 2023, who, upon inquiry, noted that the details in the system, particularly his email address, did not belong to him, hence the reason why he could not access his membership portal.”
LSK said that Mwenda had called him and said he was having trouble getting into his portal account. For their part, the LSK IT team took away Ntwiga’s email address and added Mwenda’s instead, which let him into the system.
But Mwenda couldn’t pay for a working certificate because he needed to show proof of things like the certificate of registration for his business, which he didn’t have.
“The LSK has asked for a review of the current procedures for changing membership credentials right away in order to improve the internal approval and control systems.” “We have asked the DCI to send their investigators to start a massive manhunt and arrest the masquerader (Brian Mwenda) and all of his helpers right away,” Theuri said.
Theuri has said that the LSK portal was not hacked and that users’ information is still safe and secure.
The LSK Nairobi Branch fired Mwenda on Thursday, calling him a fake lawyer because he is not a member of LSK or an advocate of the High Court.
“The Branch wishes to notify all members of the society and of the public that Brian Mwenda Njagi is not an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, from the Society’s records, neither is he a member of the (Nairobi) Branch,” LSK Nairobi Branch stated.