A UK-based Nigerian doctor has reportedly lost custody of his 16-year-old son to the government following an incident where the doctor disciplined the teenager with a belt for watching an inappropriate video.
The child rights advocate, Pep Iredia, shared details of the case in an Instagram video, explaining that the boy’s friends, who were staying over for study purposes, reported the incident to the police.
According to Iredia, the doctor entered his son’s room at 3 am and caught him watching an improper video, leading to the father’s anger and subsequent use of a belt to discipline the teenager in front of his friends.
The friends promptly called the police, and the boy was taken away that night. The case proceeded to court, where the boy’s friends testified that they heard the father express displeasure about the son’s career choice of becoming a doctor while administering the punishment.
The boy revealed during the court session that his father consistently pressured him to study subjects he had no interest in, particularly medicine, which the father wanted him to pursue at the university.
As a result of the incident and concerns about the father’s disciplinary methods and undue pressure on the son’s career choice, the court ruled that the doctor’s 16-year-old son be taken into custody care, preventing him from returning to his father’s house.
In the UK, the Children Act 2004 prohibits parents from smacking their children, except when it constitutes “reasonable punishment.” Whether a “smack” qualifies as reasonable punishment depends on the specific circumstances of each case, including the child’s age and the nature of the punishment.