The police in Kaduna in central Nigeria have uncovered a house in Rigasa harbouring no fewer than 285 children, chained on the legs and starving.
The big surprise was that the children are manacled, possibly to ensure that they do not escape.
According to the report, the people manning the house of horror claim it’s an Islamic rehabilitation centre.
The detained children said they were forced to fast, and that they were were being sexually abused.
The police suspected that the children may be undergoing some form of indoctrination.
All the children have been moved, the report said.
TVC did not state whether the minders of the abused and starving children have been arrested.
Later at a press conference, the police expatiated on their shock find.
The victims, according to the police, are from Burkina Faso, Mali and other African countries.
Death and Homosexuality
Bello Hamza, one of the victims, said he was supposed to be pursuing a Masters Degree in Applied Mathematics in South Africa, when his family members brought him to the centre, three months ago.
He told journalists that he was tricked into the centre by his family members. Hamza said he spent three months in chains.
“I got admission to study Applied Mathematics, but here I am chained. They claim to be teaching us Quran and Islam but they do a lot of things here. They subject the younger ones to homosexuality.
“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 homosexuality 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; 11:00am and 10:00pm.
“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, Kaduna police commissioner, said: “We received an 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.
“These people are being used, dehumanised. 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 announcement for parents to come and recover their children.”
A Malam who claimed to be the owner of the centre insisted that all they do at the centre is to teach people Islam. He confirmed that some of the 300 people detained at the centre were chained.
“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, dehumanisation and homosexuality 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.