26-year-old Adewole Sikiru Balogun, who claimed to be a lawyer, was on Tuesday arraigned at the Chief Magistrate’s Court One, Iyaganku, Ibadan, Oyo, on a count charge of impersonation.
The Nigerian Tribune reports that the defendant, resident in Aerodrome Estate, Samonda, Ibadan, was charged to court by the Iyaganku Area Command of the Oyo State Police Command for falsely claiming to be a legal practitioner.
Balogun was alleged to have stood as a guarantor in his self-acclaimed capacity as a lawyer for his girlfriend, currently pregnant, who was arrested for embezzling the money of a company which employed her.
The suit, with charge number MI154C/2023, read: “That you Balogun Adewole ‘m’ on the 2nd day of May 2022, at Tee-Mag Micro Credit Company, Dugbe, Ibadan, in the Ibadan Magisterial District, did falsely represent yourself as a legal practitioner called to the Nigerian Bar Association since 2020, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 484 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vol. II Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.”
Two lawyers, Aderibigbe Simeon and Sunday Adediran, stood in for the defendant at the court, while the Investigating Police Officer was Inspector Ọbajọbi Adebọboye.
The defendant had pleaded not guilty, after which Chief Magistrate E.A. Idowu presiding over the case granted him N500,000 bail with two sureties in like sum.
The case was adjourned until February 1 for further hearing.
It was learned the false claim by the accused was discovered by the Iyaganku Area Commander, ACP Abiodun Onuoha when he was reported by a micro-credit company of signing as a guarantor to his girlfriend who defrauded the company’s customers of over a million naira.
On the guarantor’s form, Balogun claimed his occupation and profession as a barrister and solicitor and his job grade as a legal advocate.
After the non-response of the wife to calls by the company to come and give account of the money she collected as contributions and loan returns from customers, Balogun allegedly bragged about being a lawyer.
However, he could not respond to questions asked by the Area Commander when he claimed to be a law graduate of the University of Ibadan.
Also, he could not present facts and documents to back his claims.
At first, he was said to have given his year of graduation from UI as 2018, but later changed it to 2019, while he claimed he was called to bar in 2020.