Anambra Man Sentenced to 90 Days for Impersonating Lawyer

An Anambra State High Court in Otuocha, Anambra East Local Government, sentenced Obinna Oraezue to 90 days imprisonment for impersonating a lawyer. The court also ordered hard labor for Oraezue at the Onitsha Correctional Centre for contempt of court.

Oraezue was arrested at a High Court in Otuocha weeks earlier for appearing as a lawyer without proper credentials. A viral video showed him being interrogated by the judge during proceedings before being handed over to security operatives.

The court also referred the M.T Olisaeke Law firm, which had hired Oraezue as a “junior lawyer,” to the Onitsha branch of the Nigeria Bar Association for investigation and potential disciplinary actions.

Dressed in full legal attire, Oraezue appeared in court on June 13, 2024, representing a litigant in a land dispute but failed to demonstrate basic legal knowledge. His performance raised suspicions among attending lawyers and the judge, leading to his arrest and interrogation by Justice Okechukwu Onunkwo.

Oraezue confessed that he had studied Political Science, not Law, and had a passion for the legal field. He claimed to have spent only a month at the law firm and had never represented anyone in court before. Pleading for leniency, Oraezue cited economic hardship and the need to support his five children and unemployed wife.

Justice Onunkwo sentenced Oraezue to three months with hard labor, effective from June 13, 2024, considering his plea for leniency. The judge emphasized that the sentence should deter others from similar actions.

Following the judgment, legal practitioner Uzochukwu Ozumba noted the court’s leniency due to Oraezue’s remorse and warned others against such fraudulent activities. The state Nigeria Bar Association expressed satisfaction with the sentencing, viewing it as a deterrent to potential impersonators.

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