No fewer than 360 chained children have been freed from a 40-year religious centre in Sabon Gari area Daura in Katsina State.
The state police commissioner, Sanusi Buba directed for the immediate closure of the centre on Monday after getting information that the children were allegedly maltreated.
Speaking with newsmen, the police boss said an investigation revealed that the place had been in existence for at least 40 years.
According to him ‘some children who fled the centre had raised the alarm that they were maltreated in the centre, leading to police raiding the place.
This was coming when a total of 360 inmates at the centre reportedly escaped after breaking the burglar proof on Sunday.
Buba said there were six rooms in the facility and each of the rooms accommodated over 40 inmates who were dehumanised.
The police commissioner said some of the children, who have now been rescued, were found in chains.
Buba said some of the inmates were handcuffed and compelled to sleep in rooms that were not ventilated.
“We would mount surveillance to fish out such culprits subjecting children to servitude,” he said.
He urged parents who took their children to the centre to come forward with valid means of identification to claim them, saying “no law in the country permits such inhuman treatment.”
The commissioner added that the condition of inmates called for urgent and serious concern, saying the police would search the 34 local government areas in the state to unravel such centres.
Meanwhile, Emir of Daura, Faruk Faruk has 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 so that the culprits would face appropriate sanctions.
The emir, who expressed shock at the discovery, said it was a surprise for such a thing to happen in his domain.