The Imo State Police Command and Nigeria Bar Association, NBA are to collaborate to rid the state of fake and quack lawyers.
The state Commissioner of Police, CP, Abutu Yaro disclosed this when the Committee Against Fake Lawyers set up by the Owerri Branch of the NBA paid him a courtesy visit at the Command headquarters in Owerri.
Yaro who disclosed that he had constituted a committee to apprehend fake and quack lawyers in the state, said quackery is a crime in law.
Yaro further disclosed that the officer in charge of legal matters in the command, Stephen Onwochei would chair the committee while a member of the Owerri branch of the NBA, Thaddeus Okey, would serve as the secretary.
The CP reiterated his commitment to ending quackery in the state, informing that a fake lawyer was last week remanded at Owerri Correctional Centre.
He vowed to deal decisively with legal infractions in the state, adding that only qualified lawyers would be allowed to practice in the state.
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According to Yaro, “We are committed to having only qualified lawyers practice in the state. I have therefore set a Committee against fake lawyers and it is headed by the officer in charge of legal matters at the command while a member of the NBA who is a former police officer will serve as secretary.
“Already a woman who was parading herself as a lawyer is already in prison for impersonation. In our laws, impersonation is a serious crime and we won’t allow fake lawyers have their ways in Imo state.”
Earlier, the chairman of the NBA Committee, Fidelis Akponye, said that with support from the police, quackery in the legal profession would become a thing of the past in the state.
According to Akponye, “We are elated that the CP has responded swiftly to our demand to ending this scourge. The legal profession is a noble one. The NBA Owerri is worried at the high rate of quackery in the legal profession in the state.
“It is important to remind the society that unless one is called to the Bar, he or she is not a lawyer even if that person is a law graduate.
“But the way people impersonate this profession in this state is worrisome and that is why the Bar constituted us to work with the police to end the scourge.”