Nigerian father-of-six in Dublin, Ireland has been accused of endangering the lives of children by performing home circumcisions on them while posing as a doctor.
Philip Ogbewe, 57, is alleged to have created a risk of death or serious harm to seven boys aged between seven months and five years in procedures in Dublin and other locations in Leinster over a 21-month period.
Routine male circumcision has declined over the years in Ireland – as well as in many Western countries – though Irish hospitals can make arrangements on individual bases.
He is facing trial on 14 charges and was granted bail on condition he does not practice any medical procedure or advertise services.
Mr Ogbewe, who lives in Greenlanes, Drogheda, Co Louth, appeared in a Dublin District Court charged with seven counts of endangerment.
The charges allege that he intentionally or recklessly used a blade to perform home circumcisions on boys, creating a substantial risk of death or serious harm.
The offences, under Section 13 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, are alleged to have happened in Finglas, Tyrellstown, Clonsilla, Kilmainham, Tallaght, Kildare and Wexford on dates in 2018 and 2019.
He is also charged with falsely representing to be a medical practitioner in the same incidents, contrary to Section 41 of the Medical Practitioners Act.
“His reply after caution to each of the charges was ‘no comment’,” the Irish police officer directing trial on indictment, said.
The Nigerian was granted bail in his own bond of €1,000, with no cash lodgement. Under conditions, he is to provide police with a permanent address as well as a mobile phone number. He is to keep the phone switched on and in credit at all times, the judge said.
Mr Ogbewe must sign on at a nominated police station three times per week, surrender his passport and undertake not to apply for any other travel document.
He is not to perform or give advice related to any sort of medical procedure, or advertise his availability for services by any means.
He is also to have no contact with any alleged injured parties or witnesses in the case.
The judge asked the accused if he would abide by these conditions. Mr Ogbewe, dressed in a grey zip-up top and dark tracksuit bottoms, replied “yes.”
Defence barrister Niall Storan said there was an issue in relation to the court’s jurisdiction in the four charges from outside the Dublin area.
The judge said this could be addressed on the next court date.
He remanded the accused in custody with consent to bail to November 12. Mr Ogbewe has not yet entered pleas to the charges.