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Doctor who worked in hospitals here failed to reveal conviction for drugs smuggling

A NIGERIAN doctor who was imprisoned for drugs smuggling went on to work in a number of Irish hospitals.

Dr Chidozie Onovo (43) worked as a senior house officer and a psychiatric registrar in the Munster region between 2004 and 2008.

This was despite him being convicted at Southwark Crown Court in London in 1998 of trying to smuggle 4.5kg of cannabis at Heathrow Airport and sentenced to two years in prison.

A Medical Council fitness to practice hearing held in Dublin this morning heard that, in his registration applications, Dr Onovo denied he had any criminal convictions.

However his criminal record only came to light when he went to work in New Zealand. Background checks by immigration officials revealed his drugs conviction.

He was convicted at the District Court in Christchurch of supplying false or misleading information to an immigration official and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

Dr Onovo did not attend this morning's hearing and the fitness to practice committee heard that efforts to contact him and trace his current whereabouts have been unsuccessful.

The hearing continues.

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