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Kenyan Man Arrested For Practising Law Under Stolen Identity, Allegedly Won 26 Cases

Kenyan Man Allegedly Wins 26 Cases While Practising Law Under Another Identity

Despite having no legal training, a Kenyan man practised law using another identity and won 26 cases.

Local authorities have since arrested him and he appeared in court on Wednesday (18 Oct).

While he might face prosecution for his actions, the man has also garnered a fair base of supporters.

Netizens have also compared his story to that of ‘Suits’ character Mike Ross, who practised law without a licence.

Kenyan man arrested for practising law under stolen identity

According to BBC News, the man was practising under the name “Brian Mwenda”.

He faces accusations of stealing the identity of a real lawyer, Brian Mwenda Ntwiga.

Despite not having any legal training, he purportedly won all 26 cases he took on, reported Kenyan newspaper The Star.

Source: @lsk_nbi on X

The Daily Mail reported that the man allegedly accessed a portal belonging to the Nairobi Branch of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).

He then altered the account details of the real Mr Mwenda before uploading his picture and claiming to have legal training.

Source: @lsk_nbi on X

Upon being unable to access his account and realising that there were changes to a few details, the real Mr Mwenda reached out to the LSK.

The case subsequently resulted in a public outcry, with many filing complaints and calling for the LSK to arrest the impostor.

Law Society of Kenya clarifies matter in statement

In a statement released on 13 Oct, the LSK shared that the real Mr Mwenda was admitted to the Bar on 5 Aug 2022.

Source: Law Society of Kenya on Facebook

At that time, an account was opened for him in the ‘Advocates’ portal using his correct email address.

However, he did not apply for a practising certificate following his admission.

This was because he did not require one as he was working at the Attorney General’s office.

As such, he only realised something was amiss in September 2023 when he tried logging into the system to activate his profile and apply for a practising certificate, only to find that he could not.

The LSK added that their tech department has since resolved the issue and launched an investigation into how the email address could have been changed.

It also took to X to state that the lawyer who had been masquerading under the name Brian Mwenda Njagi was neither a member of the Nairobi branch nor worked for the High Court of Kenya.

‘Fake’ lawyer appears in court, draws supporters

Despite the outrage the case has generated, there are those who found the man’s work impressive.

Kenya’s Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) called him a “brilliant young mind” who achieved much “without traditional qualifications”.

Mike Sonko, the former governor of Nairobi, has also publicly backed the man.

He took to social media to post a video, indicating that the man standing beside him was the accused.

Source: @MikeSonko on X

“I would like to convey my gratitude to the people that are supporting me and praying for me,” the man said. “In the fullness of time, I will be able to clear this misunderstanding.”

“I will . . . provide my innocence and provide the actual context.”

In the next few days, he clarified that he would give police officers his statement.

Mr Sonko, who according to the BBC has himself faced accusations of drug trafficking and money laundering, brushed off the ‘fake’ lawyer’s naysayers as “nincompoops”.

“This guy . . . he’s never killed anyone,” Mr Sonko said. “He’s not a terrorist, he’s not a criminal.”

Regardless, Kenya’s director of public prosecutions Renson Mulele Ingonga said that the man would face prosecution.

“I have directed the Inspector General of the National Police Service to undertake expedited comprehensive investigations,” he wrote.

On Wednesday (18 Oct), The Star reported that the man appeared in court after being grilled at the Directorate of Criminal Investigation in Nairobi.

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Featured image adapted from @lsk_nbi on X and @KenyanSays on X.

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