Authorities in Nigeria have rescued nearly 500 inmates of some rehabilitation houses which turned out to be what officials have described as torture houses, ABC News can report.
The Koranic and Rehabilitation Centre in Daura, Northern Nigeria, was one of series of institutions raided where parents have been sending their wards suffering from one addiction or the other.
The centre in Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s hometown, was made up of two main buildings, one clean and well-built where children were taught the Koran.
Across the road was the centre’s accommodation – a run-down single-storey compound, made up of five or six dark cells with barred windows and doors around a courtyard.
A total of Sixty-seven boys and men were freed from the facility at Dura. Police say there were 300 people on the school register, but many of them had escaped following a riot the previous weekend.
Over the past month about 600 people have been found to be living in such horrifying conditions: chained, starved and abused.
The first discovery was in late September in the Rigasa neighbourhood of Kaduna City in the north-west. Following a tip-off from a relative, the police found nearly 500 people, including children, detained in appalling conditions.
Videos showed rescued students looking dazed, their legs shackled and their bodies covered in blisters.
Some of them were pictured dangling from the ceiling. Others had their hands or feet chained to car wheel rims.
Kaduna state’s commissioner of Human Services and Social Development, Hafsat Baba, said Nigerian authorities are on a deliberate move to identify similar facilities and close them down as well as prosecute operators of such centres.