The police in Kaduna State have uncovered a building in Rigasa where
at least 300 people many of whom are children are tortured, chained,
sexually assaulted and starved.
The police added that there were signs that the victims were being
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
“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
“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.
“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
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
“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 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.