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Police rescue 300 from ‘illegal’ Islamic centre

More than 300 people were on Thursday evacuated from a house in Rigasa, a community in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State by the police.

They were conveyed in 15 buses after a raid on the building in which the occupants were chained to prevent them from escaping.

The house, named: “Daru Imam Ahmad Bun Hambal” operated as an Islamic school.

The children (all male), alleged that they were being sexually abused but so-called senior students and instructors.

The Nation reporter, who witnessed the raid, led by Commissioner of Police  Ali Aji Janga, observed that majority of the ‘inmates’ were chained on both legs, and others chained to generating sets and alloy rims.

They jubilated on sighting the team of policemen, showed reporters the scars of injuries sustained from torture in the hands of their instructors.

Many of them claimed they are from Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana and other African countries.

The proprietor, simply identified as Malam, said all they do in the centre “is to teach people Islam.”

He said: “All those allegations of torture, dehumanisation and homosexuality are false and mere allegations. We do nothing here other than teaching people Islam.

“Those chained are the stubborn ones who attempt running 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 country.”

CP Janga 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 nor an Islamic school.

“These people are being used, dehumanised. You can see it for 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.

The victims were taken to the police station, and an announcement for parents to come and recover their children is expected to be made soon.

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