COTU defends fake lawyer as LSK urges DCI to arrest him

Brian Mwenda. [Courtesy]

The Law Society of Kenya has asked the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to arrest a man who has been masquerading as a lawyer and representing clients in court.

LSK made the move as Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) came to the defense of the man identified as Brian Mwenda Njagi saying he should not be condemned for practicing law without the traditional law qualifications and licence.

“Our preliminary findings indicate that Njagi used the credential of a lawyer working at the office of the Attorney General to gain access to the LSK portal, took control, changed his picture and workplace, and applied for the practicing certificate,” said LSK president Eric Theuri.

Theuri said the LSK Council convened an emergency meeting on Thursday evening after it was revealed Njagi had been masquerading as a lawyer and representing clients.

According to LSK, Njagi hacked into the system using the credentials of one Brian Mwenda Ntwiga who works at the State Law Office and had not applied for a practicing certificate since he is a State officer.

“Ntwiga confirmed that he had not applied for a practicing certificate since his admission in 2022 since he worked at the AG’s office and didn’t require the licence. It was only until September when he attempted to log into the system that he discovered someone had changed it,” said Theuri.

Theuri said they discovered Njagi applied a common international fraud scheme known as Business Email Compromise to identify the account of Ntwiga which was inactive and used it to register himself.

However, COTU Secretary-general Francis Atwoli in a statement said they stand with Njagi and will do anything to help him achieve his dream of being a lawyer.

“He is a brilliant young Kenyan who should not face the condemnation. As COTU, we call upon the government to take this opportunity to actualise Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) which is a proven mechanism for recognising the diverse learning pathways of our citizens,” said Atwoli.

Atwoli said Njagi’s case raises critical questions about the accessibility and inclusivity of professions and that if it is true he has been practicing law and successfully representing clients in legal matters then his knowledge, skills, and competencies in the field of law should not be ignored.

According to the trade unionist, Kenya is home to a multitude of highly skilled and talented youth who have acquired their expertise through practical experience, self-study, and non-formal educational avenues.