The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on Tuesday, busted two more ‘rehabilitation centres’ in Zaria, Kaduna State, from where it rescued 11 inmates.
The development was two days after 147 inmates were rescued from a ‘Rehabilitation Centre’ in Rigasa n the Kaduna metropolis. The State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had led the police to raid the centre.
According to a report by Punch newspaper, the inmates rescued in the two centres located in Limanchi Corner and Marmara were mainly men and children between the ages of 11 and 40. They were met chained in both legs and hands.
The State Deputy Commandant of the NSCDC, Nnegha Onyema, said three inmates had died as a result of unbearable conditions at the centres.
He added that the operation which led to the rescue of the 11 inmates followed an intelligence report.
“We busted two of the centres in Limanchi Corner and Marmara in Zaria and evacuated 11 inmates ranging from 11-40 years of age from the two centres while one other centre had released their inmates following information that other centres have been busted but we arrested the operator,” Mr Onyema said.
He said the five arrested operators of the centres and their victims would be handed over to the Ministry of Human Services and Social Development for protective custody and prosecution.
“A family member just took me there and all of a sudden I found myself in chains,” one of the victims, Abdullahi Ishola, told journalists.
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“I was chained in the legs and hands and ever since then, I had been under unbearable inhuman treatment. I was beaten regularly and denied food for several days,” he said.
Mr Ishola, who hails from Osun State, and also a National Diploma holder in Mass Communications from Ire Polytechnic in Osun State, expressed gratitude for being rescued by the NSCDC.
Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Hadiza Balarabe, during her visit to NSCDC’s headquarters in the state, condemned the inhuman treatment of the people under the pretence of rehabilitation.
She said the state government would ensure necessary actions are taken against the operators of the centres while the victims would be provided with necessary medical attention before being handed over to their families.
Mrs Balarabe warned parents to desist from taking their children to such centres or be ready to face the wrath of the law.
Muktar Aliyu, one of the operators of the centres, said the inmates were brought to them by their parents and denied mistreating them.