A registered social worker from Nigeria has been struck off after it emerged he used somebody else’s passport to enter the UK.
Abayomi Olatunji completed a course in mental health and social work at London South Bank University in 2009, registered with the General Social Care Council and accepted a job with Southampton Council – all while residing in the UK illegally.
His immigration status only came to light in 2010 when the council was carrying out its pre-employment checks, the GSCC’s conduct committee heard.
Olatunji claimed he had illegally entered the UK eight years earlier “for reasons that are accepted under the UK law”, but the conduct committee found no evidence to support this claim. Olatunji did not attend the hearing.
Olatunji had no known criminal record or disciplinary record, and it was accepted that he had not intended to cause harm to any service users.
But the committee found his actions were “misleading and dishonest”, because he continued to live in the UK without making any application to reside legally. This was made worse by his decision to access education and employment.
In addition, Olatunji was required to liaise and work with law enforcement agencies including the police, which presented a “clear conflict of interest”, the committee found.
It decided to ban him from practising as a social worker, concluding: “Removal from the register was the proportionate sanction in this case and sent the correct message to the profession and public of the right of service users to expect high standards of integrity and honesty in social care workers.”
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