A man who had practised as a lawyer for five years in Anambra State, Mr. Richard Ikenna Udeozo, was on Wednesday remanded in prison custody by the magistrate, S. K Kadurumba, in Owerri, Imo State.
He has been accused of fraudulently parading himself as a lawyer, whereas he is not. In his defence, Udeozo said the original of his Call to Bar certificate fell inside water, hence his inability to present it.
The suspect was arraigned by the Police, in conjuction with the Owerri Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association, for impersonation and forgery, among other charges preferred against him.
Some of the charges preferred against him were that, on March 23, 2017, in the office of the chairman of NBA, Owerri branch, Udeozo presented a forged certificate of Call to the Bar dated November 20, 2012, as a proof of his Call to Bar.
The certificate reportedly bears the name of one Richard Ikenna Amanoh. On the same day, he presented a forged qualifying certificate from Council of Legal Education of November 20, 2012, which bears Richard Ikenna Amanoh, as proof of attending the Nigerian Law School.
The accused was also said to have presented a forged change of name which was published in the Vanguard newspaper of September 24, 2012, as a document changing his name from Richard Ikenna Udeozo to Richard Ikenna Amanoh. The document was said to have also been forged by him.
The Owerri branch NBA chairman, Lawrence Nwakaeti, told the court that the accused was a serial bail jumper who had jumped bail in Anambra State on the same matter.
Udeozo had jumped bail in Uli, Anambra State, years back, and ran to Imo State, where he had been practising in the chambers of Ifeanyi Udeagwu & Co. in Owerri Town, until he was apprehended on March 23, 2017.