The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has detailed how the fraudulent individual Brian Mwenda Njagi gained unauthorized access to the LSK portal, manipulated account information, and uploaded his own photo to infiltrate Kenya’s legal profession. LSK conducted an emergency meeting from 5 pm to 8 pm on a Wednesday evening to investigate this security breach and identity theft.
According to LSK, Brian Mwenda assumed the identity of a lawyer with a similar name, Brian Mwenda Ntwiga. The legitimate lawyer contacted LSK’s Secretariat when he couldn’t log in, leading to the discovery of the identity theft. After reporting the issue to ICT personnel on September 28, they noticed discrepancies in the system, particularly with his email address, preventing him from accessing his Membership portal.
The statement revealed that Brian Mwenda Ntwiga was admitted to the Bar on August 5, 2022, and his correct email address was registered. However, he hadn’t applied for a practicing certificate due to his employment at the Office of the Attorney General. It was only in September 2023 that he attempted to activate his profile and apply for the certificate, realizing he couldn’t access the LSK Portal.
LSK initiated an internal investigation to determine how the email address was changed, breaching established protocols. Preliminary findings suggest that Brian Mwenda used a common international fraud scheme called Business Email Compromise (BEC). He identified an inactive genuine advocate status, contacted the secretariat to request payment for his Practicing Certificate, but failed due to incorrect email credentials.
Subsequently, once Brian Mwenda gained access to the portal, he altered his profile picture, updated his workplace information, and applied and paid for the practicing certificate. However, his application was not processed because he needed to provide additional documents, including the certificate of business incorporation.
LSK emphasized that its portal remained uncompromised, ensuring the safety and protection of member data. They have called upon the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to launch a thorough investigation and apprehend Brian Mwenda and any accomplices. The Law Society recognizes the serious threat posed by impostors to the practice of law and is committed to taking decisive action to address this issue.