How many barristers can YOU spot? Brian Mwenda Njagi, Brian Mwenda Ntwiga, and Brian N Mwenda.

A man in Kenya who pretended to be a barrister has been arrested, prompting an outcry from similarly dodgy people who praised his initiative and entrepreneurial spirit. 

Brian Mwenda Njagi skipped the boring bits of law like passing exams and went straight to the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), where he claimed he was a barrister called Brian Mwenda Ntwiga who had been admitted to the Bar in August.

Njagi explained that he wanted to pay for his practising certificate but couldn’t because the email address on their system was incorrect.

LSK duly changed it, allowing Njagi to take control of Ntwiga’s profile in September. After amending the profile picture and workplace address he immediately started practising as Brian N Mwenda and, according to local media, took on and won 26 cases in a matter of weeks.

His streak ended when Ntwiga tried to log in to his LSK account and couldn’t, because Njagi had assumed his identity and locked him out. 

After the problem was brought to its attention and it realised it had been duped, LSK released a statement branding The Talented Mr Njagi a “criminal” who had committed fraud, declaring that “masqueraders pose a serious threat to the practice of law”.

Njagi was arrested on Wednesday and charged with six offences relating to forgery and identity theft, having presented himself to police.

He pleaded not guilty, bolstered by support from sections of the public and politicians who endorsed Njagi as a gutsy everyman overcoming discriminatory barriers like ‘qualifications’ to achieve true social mobility.

Kenya's Central Organisation of Trade Unions called Njagi a "brilliant young mind" who had succeeded "without traditional qualifications".

Mike Sonko, the former governor of Nairobi who has faced accusations of drug trafficking and money laundering, introduced Njagi as his “future lawyer” in a video with the man.

Sonko called the fake lawyer’s critics "nincompoops" and said that "He's never killed anyone, he's not a terrorist". 

Njagi said he was grateful to the people "that are supporting me and praying for me" and that "in the fullness of time I will be able to clear this misunderstanding”.

He's not in the prayers of LSK President Eric Theuri who responded on Twitter that he was going to ensure Njagi "faces the full force of the Law”, and promised that the case would be a deterrent “for future masqueraders”.

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Anonymous Anonymous 20 October 23 13:19

This fake' lawyer 'who won all 26 of his cases despite no legal training. Time for AI legal staff to present cases.

Anonymous 20 October 23 15:06

"a gutsy everyman overcoming discriminatory barriers like ‘qualifications’ to achieve true social mobility"

Needed that today ;-)

Officedrone 20 October 23 16:17

"A brilliant young mind" who has never killed anyone and is not a terrorist. The bar is certainly set very low here...

And he "succeeded without traditional qualifications"... very well, perhaps he acquired sufficient legal knowledge in diligent private study, which is possible (and since the SQE one of the ways someone could qualify in England too).

The issue is more the whole "lack of honesty and integrity" thing he's got going on. "Gutsy everyman" or simply a cheap fraud who blagged himself into lawyer's robes for a short while. Wouldn't be the first... I struggle to see how these people still manage to find admirers after they've been found out.

Surely you either follow the established path and qualify properly or you are so great at the whole "pretend" thing that you'll never be uncovered. As Paulie Walnuts put it to Feech LaManna: "In my book you get points for staying out of the can...".

Mr Five Per Cent’s Mistress 20 October 23 17:28

Please can you focus on why I haven’t received my allowance this month instead of dragging ethnic minorities? We get it, you only think whites can be lawyers. Small dick energy 

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