Doctor who concealed drug-smuggling conviction guilty of misconduct

Monday 14 January 2013 19.23
Dr Chidozie Emmanuel Onovo worked in a number of Irish hospitals
Dr Chidozie Emmanuel Onovo worked in a number of Irish hospitals

A Medical Council fitness to practise inquiry has found a doctor guilty on three counts of professional misconduct.

A decision on sanction will be made at a later date.

The inquiry heard that Dr Chidozie Emmanuel Onovo, originally from Nigeria and with an address in Bantry, Co Cork, failed to disclose that he had been convicted in Britain of drug-smuggling in 1998.

The 43-year-old psychiatrist applied for registration in Ireland in 2003.

Solicitor JP McDowell for the Medical Council's chief executive told the inquiry that Dr Onovo worked in a number of Irish hospitals between July 2004 and 2008.

The inquiry heard that Dr Onovo received a two-year custodial sentence in Britain in September 1998 for attempting to smuggle in 4.5kg of cannabis.

He applied for temporary registration with the Irish Medical Council in 2003.

In the application he stated he had never been convicted of an offence.

The inquiry also heard that his CV stated he was working as a doctor in Nigeria when he was in fact imprisoned in Britain.

He applied for and was granted full registration in Ireland in 2008 and again did not disclose his conviction.

In September 2010, Dr Onovo was sentenced to 16 months in New Zealand on immigration fraud charges.

While working in Christchurch, he applied for a work permit and his previous conviction was uncovered.

Keywords: medical council