First witness testifies in fake lawyer case

The third prosecution witness in the case involving the alleged fake lawyer, yesterday tendered in evidence, some cases in which the accused had presented himself as a lawyer for some clients.

Anthony Anyomi, 34, is facing a charge of defrauding by false pretence after he allegedly faked as a lawyer. Detective Sergeant Mustapha Salifu of the Accra Regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID) told an Accra Circuit Court that Police investigations revealed that the accused had presented himself as a lawyer in many courts, including the one he had been arraigned.

He said subsequently the Police made a request to the Judicial Service to provide them with some of the cases the accused presented himself as a lawyer.

Detective Sergeant Salifu tendered in evidence, two cases titled “The Republic Versus Vessel Kwesi Yeboah”, and “The Republic Versus Prince Boakye”, which the accused did an extensive cross-examination in one of them on October 5, 2015.

The accused objected to the tendering of the document on the grounds that his name was not spelt properly and unaware of those involved in the cases, but the court, presided over by Patricia Quansah admitted it in evidence, adding that the crux of his objection did not render the evidence inadmissible.

The prosecution witness further added that the Police wrote to General Legal Council to enquire about the accused calling to the Bar,  which the police received  a response that the accused had never been a lawyer.

According to his testimony, on January 6, 2016, he was at the Office, when two Court Warrant officers arrested the accused and proceeded to the Regional Office, following which he was called to investigate.

The prosecution witness said, following the outcome of his investigations, the accused was charged with defrauding by false pretense.

He told the court that the accused admitted the offence and stated in his caution statement that he was enrolled into the Ghana School of Law in 2009, however, he had some issues with the police in 2010 and deferred.

The witness said the accused revealed that he was practicing as a lawyer because he needed money to further his education and that he (accused) doesn’t charge his clients.

He added that after the police made a search at his abode for lawyers’ apparel, nothing was found, but the Police further extended investigations into Sundowns Legal Services at Dansoman, where the accused used as his office, adding that one lawyer admitted he knew the accused, but was not aware he was not a lawyer.

The accused, in his cross-examination in the absence of his lawyer, urged the prosecution witness to explain the charge to the court, adding that “I have never extorted any money from anyone that is why the Police can’t prove to the court”.

The accused further told the court that he had been engaged by a company to sign a document on their behalf and as a result, he would be leaving the country to South Africa for two weeks.

That received an objection from the Prosecutor,  Chief Superintendent (Supt) Duuti Tuaruka, who told the court that the accused absence from the country for two weeks would be contrary to his bail conditions.

Consequently, the judge said the accused had to report to the Police every Wednesday and travelling for two weeks would mean he would forfeit that responsibility. She said since the bail condition had not been waved, he (accused) should tell those who had engaged his services that he would not be in the position to travel with them.

The judge further added that she did not want him to go out of jurisdiction while the trial was ongoing, and adjourned the case to Wednesday, June 22, for further cross-examination.

By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme

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