A Nigerian based in the United Kingdom, Adekunle Okunuga has been reinstated at his work place, the National Health Service, NHS, after he was suspended for beating his son who misbehaved in school, with a kitchen brush.
Okunuga also made his son perform squat thrusts and stand on one leg with his arms in the air while he kicked him. In addition, he caned the boy’s open palms with a walking stick and only stopped when he saw the blood of his son spatter over the kitchen floor.
The boy was treated in hospital for cuts and bruising and was later taken temporarily into foster care.
The boy got into trouble in school for not submitting his homework, lying to other pupils, using the word ‘rape’ and for stamping on an injured girl during Physical Education lesson.
The 59 year old consultant anesthetist, was arrested after the incident in June 2014. He blamed his cultural upbringing in Nigeria for the act adding that corporal punishments are common in Nigeria.
Okunuga was arrested and sentenced to eight weeks in jail. He was also suspended for a year from work with a requirement to complete 160 hours unpaid work. His son was later returned to him.
According to Daily Mail UK reports, in 2015, Okunuga’s name was ordered to be removed from the medical register after he was found guilty of professional misconduct by a disciplinary panel.
His restoration hearing began last September after Okunuga applied to General Medical Council to get his job back. He said he had kept up to date with his medical skills and produced testimonials from patients and colleagues and also character references from his family – including his wife and son.
The tribunal considered that Okunuga had developed sufficient insight into how his actions had impacted on public confidence and the need to maintain and uphold proper standards of behaviour.
“His expressions of remorse are genuine and was satisfied. There are no public safety concerns in relation to Dr Okunuga. He would be fit to return to unrestricted practice in the UK given his current medical skills,” the Tribunal ruled.
Okunuga had previously worked at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi in Lagos before relocating to the United Kingdom.