Journalism of Courage

Rehabilitation centre turned torture cell shut down in Daura, 360 inmates freed


Barely three weeks after the Police in Kaduna rescued about 500 boys and men from a deplorable rehabilitation centre, hundreds of youths and underage children have been set free from another centre in Daura, Kastina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s country home.


Alarmed by the development, the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Faruk Umar Faruk, a retired Controller of Customs, described it as unbelievable.


“I’m shocked at the discovery …it is a surprise that such a thing is happening in my domain,’’ he said and called on the police and other relevant security agencies to carry out a thorough investigation on the issue.


He urged the police to be fair and just in their investigation and bring the culprits to justice.


Meanwhile, the Kastina Police Commissioner, Mr Sanusi Buba, who visited the centre in company of the emir, journalists and other relevant stakeholders, has ordered the closure of Malam Bello-mai’almajirai local reformatory centre in Daura.


More than 360 inmates had been subjected to all forms of inhuman treatment and torture for several years at the centre described as deplorable.


Buba said the condition of inmates called for urgent and serious concern, noting that the police would search the 34 local government areas in the state for such centres.


“The inmates were handcuffed and compelled to sleep in unventilated rooms.


“We would mount surveillance to fish out such culprits subjecting children to servitude,” he said.


He advised parents who took their children to the centre to come forward with valid means of identification to claim them.


Also speaking, ASP Gambo Isa, Katsina Police Command’s spokesperson, said the small mud house was meant to be a reformation centre for individuals with character deformation.


He said the police had raided the centre after children who “miraculously” fled the centre raised an alarm complaining of untold abuses.


“Some of the rescued people of ages between 7 and 40 years were found in chains and handcuffs.’’


The victims, who had suffered serious health complications, were taken to the hospitals for medical attention.


Eight people suspected to be coordinators of the centre have been arrested.


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