John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) yesterday rescued 11 inmates from two ‘rehabilitation centers’ in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The State Deputy Commandant of the NSCDC, Mr. Nnegha Aloysious Onyema, who paraded the owners of the centers, also disclosed that three inmates died as result of unbearable conditions at the centers.
The two centers, according to Onyema, were located in Limanchi Corner and Marmara, in Zaria
The rescued inmates were mainly men and children aged between 11 and 40 and were chained between their legs and hands.
Their rescue came two days after 147 inmates were rescued at a ‘Rehabilitation Centre’ in Rigasa, a suburb of Kaduna metropolis, when the State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, led some policemen to raid the center.
Onyema said the 11 inmates were rescued following an intelligence report gathered by the corps. “We busted two of the centers in Limanchi Corner and Marmara in Zaria and evacuated 11 inmates ranging from 11-40 years of age from the two centers while one other center had released their inmates following information that other centers have been busted but we arrested the operator,” he said.
According to him, the five arrested operators of the centers and their victims would be handed over to the Ministry of Human Services and Social Development for protective custody and prosecution.
The Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, in company of the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan and the Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajia Hafsat Baba, visited the state’s headquarters of the NSCDC and condemned the inhuman treatment being meted out on people in the name of rehabilitation.
The deputy governor assured the people that the state government would take necessary actions against the operators of the centers while the victims would be provided necessary medical care before handing them over to their parents.
She called on parents to desist from taking their children to such centers else they would be made to face the full weight of the law of the land.
One of the victims, Abdullahi Ishola, 30, from Osun State, told newsmen that he was lured to the center by a family member. “A family member just took me there and all of a sudden I found myself in chains.
“I was chained in the legs and hands and ever since then, I have been under unbearable inhuman treatment. I was beaten regularly and denied foods for several days,” he said.
One Ishola, who is a National Diploma holder in Mass Communications from Ire Polytechnic in Osun State, expressed gratitude for being rescued by the NSCDC.
However, one of the operators of the centers, Muktar Aliyu, denied maltreating the inmates, adding that the victims were brought to the centers by their parents.