The victims. Photo credit: Punch.

Men of the Kaduna State Police Command on Thursday raided a would be Islamic centre where over 300 people where discovered chained in Rigasa, Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

The police said it freed the captives who were chained in the house, including children who have confessed to being abused homosexually.

The force said some of the victims came from Burkina Faso, Mali and other African countries.

They were said to have been subjected to daily recitation of the Holy Quran and prayers with torture.

One of the inmates, Bello Hamza, a 42-year-old man, said he was tricked to the centre by his family who were interested in taking “over my share of our inheritance.”

According to him, “I have spent three months here. I am supposed to be pursuing my Masters at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

“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.”

The Kaduna State Commissioner for Police, Ali Janga, said the force received information that the place is not a rehabilitation centre.

“We received information that something is going on in this rehabilitation centre or Islamic centre. On getting here, we discovered that this is neither a rehabilitation centre nor Islamic school,” he said.

“The man who is operating this home claimed that parents brought their children here for rehabilitation. But, from the look of things, this is not a rehabilitation centre. No reasonable parent will bring their children to this place.”

Meanwhile, the proprietor of the centre identified simply as Malam said all they did in the centre was the teaching of Islam.

“All those allegations of torture, degumanisation and homosexuality are false and mere allegations. We do nothing here other than teaching people Islam.”

The victims