Banned doctor claims to head college that does not exist
Published 30/04/2005 | 00:11
A DOCTOR suspended by the British General Medical Council two years ago has set up business as an alternative medicine professor in Ireland.
Joseph Chikelue Obi, who bills himself as the 'world's top expert in nutritional immunomudulation', claims to be heading up the Royal College of Alternative Medicine in Dublin.
However, the 35-year-old self-proclaimed professor has a bizarre track record, the Irish Independent can reveal.
This includes being suspended for professional misconduct at a British hospital and undergoing a probe by the British police.
An investigation by this paper reveals he represents himself as a top doctor heading a prestigious college in Dublin with numerous staff.
But his 'Royal College' does not physically exist at its given address. It does, however, use a standard call answering and mail collection service to give the impression that it does.
This came as a shock to Dr Michael Kett of the Central School of Reflexology in London, who handed over several hundred sterling to the charismatic Dr Obi for accreditation by what he believed was one of the top alternative medicine colleges in Ireland.
"He said they were a group of highly respected doctors," Dr Kett recalled, adding that after a brief exchange of e-mails he had not heard from Dr Obi since.
Besides the college, Dr Obi also offers telephone consultations for ?300 an hour as well as letters of reference for ?149 and fellowships for a knock-down ?3,499.
Dr Obi fails to mention his adventurous past when offering these services.
In January 2003, he was suspended by for serious professional misconduct at South Tyneside District Hospital. Among the allegations made were that he failed to attend to patients, wrote strange notes about colleagues and at one point gave a dating agency phone number to a psychiatric patient. He was also involved in a police probe into his dealings with a 58-year-old widow who he promised to cure of a 20-year illness.
In an interview with the Evening Chronicle in Britain, the woman said she had handed him more than £3,500 (?5,200) of her life savings for his advice.
"I don't normally part with money like this, but I was so desperate because I have been ill for so long and no one can do anything," she said.
"He was very charming. He kissed my hand on the way out," she recalled.
She then never heard from him again.
"He promised me a cure, but now I have no money and will continue to get into more debt . . . I am devastated," she said.
The widow eventually decided not to press charges.
The doctor then busied himself creating a bizarre website where he claims he is the victim of a smear campaign by "shameless media elements" and the British police.