Itopa Peter Adogun had practiced law in Ilorin for 10 years, he was known as ‘Barrister I. T. David’ and he went as far as winning cases at the Supreme Court level. His trial took a dramatic turn on 21st of June, 2017 when the lead prosecutor, Ayoola Idowu Akande, Chief State Counsel informed the Court that he had lined up 5 witnesses ready to testify against the accused.
The accused fake lawyer suddenly became frightened and sought the Court’s permission to consult with his lawyer, Abdul Gegele Esq. Which was granted. He later told the Court that he had decided to change his plea from not guilty to the plea of guilty. The Chief Magistrate Court presided over by Mrs. I. O. Olawoyin had consequently ordered that the First Information Report (FIR) be read again to the Accused person. The Accused later admitted that he is not a lawyer and that he has practiced as a lawyer within Ilorin and its environs, he also admitted wearing the robes of lawyers to appear at the Superior Courts with the name I. T. David Esq. He confessed to the allegations of fake certificate and identity theft but however denied the allegation of resistance or obstruction of arrest levied against him. The prosecution later sought for an adjournment to substitute the FIR to enable a speedy dispensation of the matter which was also granted by the Court.
The lead Counsel, Ayoola Idowu Akande informed the court today that they have filed information dated 4th July 2017 and same was read to the accused person who admitted knowledge of the content of the FIR and pleaded guilty. The presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs. I. O. Olawoyin therefore found the accused person guilty of impersonation and for wearing dress or carrying token used by public officers under section 179 and 133 penal code respectively. He was accordingly sentenced to 10- month imprisonment but given the option of payment of N10, 000 fines. The accused person who has been in prison custody since January 2017 was paraded before the men of the Kwara State Command for fake certificate and identity theft the fake ‘Barrister I. T. David’ was arrested, following a petition written to the police by the Ilorin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association by its legal Adviser, Oyetunji Ojuokaiye. Apart from having cases pending in local courts, we gathered that he had also appeared in a number of cases in the Supreme Court. The accused person was arrested while appearing before an Area Court in Adewole, Ilorin. He was granted police bail but later jumped bail he was however rearrested on a roof top where he hid on January 7. we learned that the accused had falsely taken the credentials of one Inufin David Taiwo, an Abuja-based lawyer, under the guise of helping him to secure a job opportunity in an oil company, only to relocate to Ilorin and started practising as a lawyer with the photocopies.
The owner of the certificates, who claimed to know the fake lawyer, said he was a client at the office where he observed the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps. Found in Itopa’s possession at the point of arrest were complete legal practitioner’s robe, legal books, complimentary cards, copies of legal processes filed in several courts and other incriminating items.