A man in Kenya accused of practising law without qualifications has pleaded not guilty in court.
Named Brian Mwenda Njagi on the charge sheet, he was arraigned in court in the capital, Nairobi, on Wednesday morning following his arrest on Tuesday.
He faces charges of forging official documents to practise as a lawyer and identity theft.
Dubbed the “fake lawyer” by local media, he is reported to have won dozens of lawsuits despite not being trained.
But the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) disputes this. “To our knowledge, Mr Mwendwa has been appearing in court for at least eight or nine months, and it’s impossible to complete that number of cases unless they are in small claims courts that are concluded within 60 days,” LSK chairman Eric Theuri told the BBC.
“Our investigations show that he has a fake law degree from Strathmore University and a bar admission letter that has a fake signature of the late chief justice Evans Gicheru, who served from 2003 to 2011.”
However, he has been praised by Kenya’s Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) as a “brilliant young mind” who has succeeded “without traditional qualifications”.
He has also been backed by Mike Sonko, the controversial former governor of Nairobi.
Mr Mwenda, who has been on police bail since his arrest, has insisted he is innocent and says he will be vying for a parliamentary seat in the 2027 elections.