John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna State Police Command yesterday raided another rehabilitation centre in Rigasa community, a suburb of the metropolis, where 147 inmates were rescued.
The command confirmed that the security operatives arrested the proprietor of the centre, Mallam Lawal Muduru during the operation, noting that the centre was known as Mallam Niga’s Rehabilitation and Skill Acquisition Centre.
The spokesman of the command, Mr. Yakubu Sabo disclosed this in a statement, saying the action was taken following an unscheduled visit of the state governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai to the centre, located at Kwanar Gurguwa in Rigasa
The police had rescued over 300 children and adults three weeks in a similar rehabilitation centre in the Rigasa area, where many of them were chained and dehumanised.
Likewise, the spokesman noted that the inmates, who were shackled with chains at the centre, were evacuated and taken to the Hajj Camp in Mando for temporary shelter.
Sabo noted that some of the inmates alleged that they were sexually abused by other inmates at the centre.
He said the police had started questioning the proprietor of the centre.
“Today, October 19 at about 0800hrs, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, His Excellency Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai led Police Operatives of the Command to the NIGAS Rehabilitation and Skills Acquisition Centre located at Rigasa Kaduna for an On-the-Spot Assessment where it was discovered that about one hundred and forty seven (147) inmates both male and female were found mostly in shackles (chained).
“During the raid, some of the inmates made certain allegations of maltreatment including sexual molestation particularly by the female inmates against some male inmates.
“Following this discovery, the governor directed that all the inmates be evacuated to Hajj Camp located at Mando Kaduna for proper profiling and safe custody.
“Similarly, the police have arrested one Dr Lawal Yusuf Muduru a.k.a Malam Niga, the owner of the centre to investigate him on the said allegations. He is currently helping investigation at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) of the command.
“The command is also investigating the authenticity and validity of the registration document the suspect claimed to possess.The Commissioner of Police CP Ali AJI Janga, has reiterated his commitment to fight all forms of crime and criminality in the state without fear or favour. He appeals to the general public to continue to support the command in the current battle against criminality.”
Speaking on thee rescue operation yesterday, the Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hafsat Baba confirmed that 147 inmates, including 22 females were evacuated from the centre.
Baba, who visited the Hajj Camp to see the victims, said four of them “are foreigners from Niger Republic and Cameroon.”
According to her, we also have under age among the inmates and those who are mentally not stable. We have contacted a psychiatric doctor who will come to examine them.”
She added that efforts were being made to identify their relations.
The inmates were said to be drugs addicts who were taken to the centre for rehabilitation as well as learn some skills.