A local authority lawyer has been struck off after failing to declare she was submitting invoices to pay to her husband’s company.

Omolarami Akindiji, who worked as a legal services manager at Corby Borough Council, submitted two invoices each for £1,550 for services purported to be provided by a company called Alfa Topco. The business was described at Companies House as an IT consultancy with Akinkunmi Akindiji, the solicitor’s husband, listed as sole director.

The nature of the services provided was initially described in invoices as ‘legal consultancy’ but amended on three further occasions after internal queries were raised by the council. In one amendment the words ‘agency fees’ was handwritten on the invoices before being changed again.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal said Akindiji, a solicitor since 2013, had known that Alfa Topco was owned by her husband but invented – and purported to deal with – another person to conceal this fact.

Her misconduct was said to be aggravated by the fact that when challenged she blamed her manager, lack of systems, lack of knowledge and poor health. The tribunal rejected all these explanations.

The tribunal said hers was a ‘substantial breach of trust’. ‘[Akindiji’s] actions were pre-meditated and repeated in that more than one invoice was submitted for payment,’ said the tribunal. ‘[Her] lies about the situation were prolonged. Although the misconduct was not particularly sophisticated, it was nevertheless planned.

‘The motivation for the misconduct was clearly financial gain on the part of Alfa Topco, the sole director of which was [her] husband.’

The tribunal heard that Akindiji had started at the council in March 2018. Her manager reported her to the SRA later that year after the council’s creditor system tried to arrange payments to Alfa Topco for services not received.

Akindiji, who did not attend the hearing, had previously told the SRA that her training and induction were ‘inadequate’ and she believed she had followed all correct protocols. She was struck off and ordered to pay £22,000 costs.