A 49-year-old man has been charged with masquerading as a legal practitioner in court.
Mr Isaac Kamau Nyoro was slapped with Sh20,000 fine or an alternative of a one-month sentence after the judge found him guilty of contempt of court.
Mr Kamau was arrested inside the Environment and Labour Relations Court in Nakuru where he appeared on Wednesday morning purporting to have instructions to represent a client in a land matter.
“By his own admission Mr Kamau is not a lawyer. The court finds him guilty of contempt as he deliberately pretended to be an advocate knowing very well that he is unqualified,” said Justice Dalmas Ohungo in his ruling.
The judge further directed the Court Process Server Committee to take appropriate legal action against him after he claimed to be a member of the team.
Mr Kamau’s fake identity was discovered by lawyers in court who suspected his weird behaviour while in court and his difficulties in understanding the court process.
When he appeared before court he claimed to be representing the “accused person” instead of the defendant as it is the case with civil suits.
He also appeared drunk and unkempt and referred to a document that he had drawn from his pockets.
When other advocates requested to have the matter adjourned, he insisted on having the case proceed despite having not filed the required documents including the response to the petition as well as notice of appointment as an advocate for his two purported clients.
The lawyers who were present became suspicious and requested the court to confirm his qualification.
Mr Samuel Opar, who is also the secretary of Rift Valley Law Society of Kenya, demanded that Mr Kamau produces his advocates registration number.
Mr Kamau, upon further interrogations claimed to be a broker in the firm of GM Njuguna and company advocates whom he said paid him commission for every client presented.
“I am a broker. I am paid between Sh2,000 and Sh3,000 depending on the client,” said Mr Kamau.
The court was interrupted for more than one and a half hours as the LSK and the Court Process Server Committee chairman Mr Gathaku Thananga tried to establish his identity on the online platform.
He was put in a court cell after search results by the two bodies came out negative.
LSK official Mr Ochang Ajigo welcomed the decision by the high court saying that it should serve as a lesson to all other imposters in the profession.
“The punishment may appear minimal but it has served its purpose. I want to warn all those purporting to be advocates that we have their records and we shall be arraigning them soon,” said Mr Ochang’.