Kaduna: 300 children found chained, tortured, abused in alleged Islamic school

Some of the rescued children
Some of the rescued children

The police in Kaduna State have uncovered a building in Rigasa where at least 300 people many of whom are children are tortured, chained, s*xually assaulted and starved.

The police added that there were signs that the victims were being indoctrinated.

The victims, according to the police during a press conference, are from Burkina Faso, Mali, and other African countries.

Bello Hamza, who had spent three months in chains at the centre, told journalists, “I got admission to study Applied Mathematics, but here I am chained. They claim to be teaching us the Quran and Islam but they do a lot of things here. They subject the younger ones to homos*xuality.

“This is supposed to be an Islamic centre, but trying to run away from here attracts severe punishment; they tie people and hang them to the ceiling for that, but engaging in homos*xuality attracts no punishment.

“Within my short stay here, somebody had died as a result of torture. Others have died before my coming due to poor health and torture. They give us very poor food and we only eat twice a day; 11 am and 10 pm.

“They have denied me a lot of things here. I am a family man, I have responsibilities, but I am chained here not knowing what is happening to my family members.”

Ali Janga, the Kaduna police commissioner, said: “We received information that something is going on in this rehabilitation centre or Islamic centre. So, I sent my DPO here to check what was going on.

“On getting here, we discovered that this is neither a rehabilitation centre or Islamic school. You can see it yourself that, small children, some of whom are brought from neighbouring African countries like Burkina Faso, Mali and others and from across Nigeria. Most of them are even chained.

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“These people are being used, dehumanized. You can see it yourself. The man who is operating this home claimed that parents brought their children here for rehabilitation. But, from the look on things, this is not a rehabilitation centre. No reasonable parent will bring his children to this place.

“So, we are going to investigate them and get to the root of the matter. We will find out the real motive behind this centre, and if they are found wanting they will be charged to court. But first, we are evacuating all the people from this place to our station and we will make an announcement for parents to come and recover their children.”

But the owner of the centre said, “Those chained are the stubborn ones who attempted to run away. Those who don’t attempt running away are not chained. Some were chained before and after settling down, they were freed.

“Most of them were brought by their parents from across the country and others from outside the countries

“All those allegations of torture, dehumanization, and homos*xuality are false. We do nothing here other than teaching people Islam.

“They don’t do anything other than, recitation of Qur’an, pray and worship God,” the Malam said.

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