First, it was Sheikh Ahmad Bin Hambal Islamic School and Rehabilitation Centre within the coronary heart of Rigasa, Igabi Local Government Area, Kaduna State the place about 300 chained inmates, together with youngsters, have been rescued by the police. Three weeks later, Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai led safety operatives to bust one other widespread rehabilitation centre referred to as Malam Niga Centre, the place he freed 147 inmates.
The mud was but to decide on the invention of the 2 houses of horror when males of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps additionally unraveled a decade-old torture chamber referred to as a rehabilitation centre in Zaria, additionally in Kaduna State. Although they’re barely completely different when it comes to ideology and construction, the three rehabilitation centres will not be completely different of their outlooks as houses of alleged torture and sexual abuse the place inmates are chained like animals.
Unlike the males solely Sheikh Ahmad Bin Hambal Islamic School and Rehabilitation Centre in Kaduna and the one primarily based in Zaria, Malam Niga Centre saved 147 inmates of each genders beneath alleged dehumanising circumstances as inmates have been allegedly raped every day.
In separate interviews with our correspondent, a few of the rescued inmates narrated their ordeal, saying that, they have been day by day subjected to torture and sexual abuse however couldn’t report back to their unsuspecting dad and mom who got here on occasional visits.
One of them, Hauwa Muhammad, an indegene of Nasarawa State, who lived along with her dad and mom in Abuja earlier than she was taken to Malam Niga Centre by her father 11 months in the past as a result of she was hooked on exhausting medicine, alleged that she was raped repeatedly by some males on the centre, together with the son-in-law of the proprietor.
Hauwa stated: “I used to be abused by lots of boys. I used to be abused a number of occasions by the son in-law of Malam Niga, Hassan Sani Dauda. We informed Malam what Hassan was doing to us however he refused to consider as a result of Hassan is his daughter’s husband. And he even refused to research the allegation.
“For his sexual pleasure and need, Hassan made us to make love with ourselves. I imply he subjected us to lesbianism and would watch us for his pleasure. And after we refused, he would hit us with the gora (huge stick) in his hand. Look at my wrist, my hand is not straight, as a result of he hit me with stick.
“It was not solely me; he raped seven of us typically. In truth, there was a woman he deflowered and raped by her anus.
Another inmate, Maryam Lawal, a 21-year-old indigene of Kaduna State, stated she was molested, raped and crushed every day. “Hassan beat us, raped us and so they made us inhale smoke that they referred to as medication. It just isn’t medication however mere punishment.
“On a few occasions, I almost passed out during the smoke inhalation process. My breath ceased. It was only God that helped me; I would have died. They would tell us that, we must not drink water until after 15 minutes of the inhalation process. We used to choke and gasp for air,” she stated.
My story, by proprietor of ‘rehab centre’
But the Proprietor of Niga Rehabilitation and Skill Acquisition Centre, Malam Lawal Yusuf Muduru, in any other case often called Mallam Niga, denied the allegations of torture and sexual abuse leveled in opposition to him by the rescued inmates whereas he spoke with our correspondent after he was launched on bail by the police in Kaduna.
Narrating how he got here concerning the centre, Maduru, who was born in Muduru, Katsina State in 1965, stated: “I used to be at a barber’s store in Rigasa on a sure day a while in 2006, when I discovered some extremely intoxicated youths dancing to all types of disco songs and even falling into the gutter. I requested what occurred and I used to be informed they have been beneath the affect of medicine. I gathered my shut associates to inform them about what I noticed.
Since I’ve expertise on medicine and Islam, I made a decision to open a centre to deal with the excessive fee of drug abuse among the many youth. The second I bought the go forward from them, I opened this Malam Niga centre.
“I established this rehabilitation centre in March, 2006 and began with only a scholar named Hamza. Then I bought one other scholar named Aliyu whereas the third scholar was Dauda Bukar.
“Dauda Bukar, it was a chieftain of Makera that handed him over to me. Then inmates started multiplying. So far, I have rehabilitated and trained more than 2,300.”
He stated there have been procedures the centre adopted earlier than returning the inmates to their dad and mom or kinfolk.
He stated: “Those who their sanity is ascertained and their dad and mom really feel they’ve gone by some adjustments, we reunite them with their households after some time of coaching them, whereas some deserted ones get ability acquisition beneath my watch.
“I’ve rehabilitated and freed greater than 2,000 inmates and presently, I’ve 147 college students beneath me. Among them are 22 females and 125 males, earlier than they have been taken away.
“In truth, for therefore lengthy, my battle in opposition to drug abuse has gone worldwide. We have organised about 12 retreats on drug abuse. We paid courtesy visits to all of the individuals which can be in authority, starting from authorities home to ministries and parastatals and knowledgeable Commissioners of Police, the governor, the GOC 1 Division and NDLEA on finest methods to deal with drug abuse.
“We maintain conferences and conferences on drug abuse. We typically organise reveals to marketing campaign in opposition to drug abuse and dignitaries often grace our occasions. In truth, over the last occasion we had, the governor of Kaduna State despatched a consultant over to witness the occasion.
“We have been inviting Kaduna State ministries, organisations and the state authorities to return and assess what we’ve got on floor within the rehabilitation centre; to return and see how we empower inmates, the kind of coaching we provide them, and to have a look at methods to help us.
“This just isn’t all about cash however on recommendation and methods through which we are able to enhance and ship higher providers, particularly the trendy methods.
“It was not fairly lengthy we heard that Governor El-Rufai despatched safety operatives to raid the Arabic college and rehabilitation centre right here in Rigasa, the place inmates have been discovered to have been chained to mills and rim in order that they’d not run away. But after I visited him final Thursday, I informed the Commissioner of Police that I do nothing of such in my rehabilitation centre.
“But nonetheless, on Saturday, the governor got here in a convoy with safety males to my centre, asking that how come I’m chaining youngsters. But I defined to him that each one I do is train the inmates commerce. I confirmed them every little thing. I defined that some inmates do run away from the centre and by no means return house to fulfill their kinfolk, and in the event that they run away from my rehabilitation centre, the dad and mom confront me.
“I additionally defined that generally, the inmates often run into bother as soon as they don’t seem to be throughout the rehabilitation centre premises. Some could even lose their lives and the kinfolk take me to courtroom if I can’t present their youngsters.
“There was even a time the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development introduced 9 individuals to me to maintain them. She went on the streets and introduced mad individuals to my rehabilitation centre for remedy. They spent 4 months with me and the commissioner finally got here to select them up after they regained their sanity. People will be my witness on this.
“With all that I’ve talked about, if they’re to be truthful to me, they’re presupposed to convey inspectors round to ask what actually is occurring in my rehabilitation centre. They ought to have requested the mad individuals introduced over by the commissioner to reply whether or not they have been sexually molested or there’s something unhealthy happening right here.
“They are supposed to research if really there are individuals practising lesbianism or raping individuals on this centre.
“It has been lengthy that I’ve been asking for inputs from the state authorities on how finest to function with commonplace practices and enhance my centre. We have written a number of occasions to the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, requesting for courtesy go to, to fulfill him and focus on and to chart the best way ahead.
“We even did follow-ups, however up until now, there was no response from the governor.
“Since the Mallam Niga Rehabilitation Centre is popularly identified throughout the state and the nation, there’s want for Governor El-Rufai to at the very least take heed to our yearnings and at the very least know what we would like and may do to enhance our centre. Had the governor obliged to fulfill us, we’d have informed him our challenges and the attainable methods they might assist.
“We all know that drug abuse is prevalent in Northern Nigeria, and you already know of current, there was even a documentary on ‘Sweet Sweet Codeine’. In Kano and Jigawa states alone, individuals eat as much as three million bottles of codeine day by day. I even granted an interview saying codeine just isn’t the one drug that’s being abused; there are as much as 20 different substances that the youths abuse every day.
“What I additionally noticed is that in all of the 19 northern states within the nation, not one of the governors took the problem of drug abuse severely. There haven’t been any of them who sat and contemplated on the way forward for the youths who eat the exhausting substances and medicines every day.
“The future of the youth is less of their concern, and that has been the reason we have so many restive youths and crises in the north.”
Reacting to the sexual abuse allegations, Maduru stated: “The studies that they practise lesbianism and females have been sexually harassed and raped, nothing of such was taking place right here, as a result of I’m all the time on floor. I’ve my household residing right here within the rehabilitation centre.
“I reside within the centre as properly, and even when an inmate lies on his mattress and shift or we discover any motion try, we are going to beam the flash gentle to know what is occurring.
“Even if you’re to urinate, you should be granted permission to take action. I truly don’t know the place the fabricated studies that females in my rehabilitation centre have been sexually molested is coming from. Like I stated earlier, they’re presupposed to query the insane those that the commissioner for ladies affairs dropped at my rehabilitation centre for remedy to know if one thing of such was taking place.
“You can think about, we’ve got efficiently rehabilitated greater than 2,000 individuals on this centre, so what’s going to cease them from going to search out out from one or two individuals amongst them whether or not they have been sexually molested or maltreated throughout their keep right here?
“You know, already it is best to anticipate some amongst these beneath rehabilitation to say destructive issues, as a result of they most likely wish to return house and resume their outdated methods. So positively, if they’re requested whether or not we maltreated them or not, they may say sure, we did. If they are saying they weren’t molested, there are possibilities that authorities will return them to us, in order that they quite say no in order that they may very well be launched.
“But authorities ought to know that as we’ve got about 147 of them right here, they need to know that some kinfolk are nonetheless desirous to convey their wards which can be inflicting unrest within the public to us. But now that they closed down our centre, these cussed youngsters which can be presupposed to be referred to us are nonetheless on the streets inflicting unrest.
“I foresee that crises may erupt within the north, because of drug addicts and restive youths who haven’t gained consideration. This is as a result of all of the locations the place individuals might refer their youngsters to have been closed down. I’m advising authorities that within the subsequent 5 months, it ought to construct rehabilitation centres throughout the state as they’ve begun to shut down the non-public ones, as a result of eventually, these launched to the road could start to unleash mayhem.
“So, since they’ve closed down our personal centres, they need to construct correctional centres in every single place, the place cussed youngsters can be referred to.
“For occasion, I heard that the opposite Rehabilitation centre, that of Shiekh Hambal the place 300 youngsters have been evacuated, one of many youths reunited together with his kinfolk stabbed somebody to dying. According to what I heard, he solely spent two weeks within the centre earlier than the incident and was returned house.
“There was a plan to arrest the father of the boy, but the father faulted government for returning his son back home. He said he took him somewhere for rehabilitation and they brought him back home. So he said it was none of his business.”
On the allegation that he made inmates to inhale smoke simply to punish them, Malam Niga stated: “How can smoke be inhaled simply to punish somebody. The cause for inhaling the smoke must be to remedy somebody. If a herbalist or conventional medical practitioner offers you smoke to inhale, it’s meant to remedy you.
“Our rehabilitation centre just isn’t a torture centre. If you take a look at the scars on their backs or their physique, you’ll discover that the scars will not be recent. They had been crushed and disfigured earlier than they have been dropped at us.
“There is a specific one amongst them, he has been sporting a rosary on his neck for nearly 20 years. I used to say occasions with out quantity that torture or corporal punishment can not clear up the issue of a defiant youngster. Some wouldn’t have been right here if critical beating can truly clear up their case.
“They eat three meals a day and we cost them N25,000 per time period. Although the fee varies, some pay past that. Some pay as much as N75,000, as a result of we feed them every day. If you go to a resort, you’ll positively be charged for feeding and lodging. We have greater than 100 individuals in our custody, and we even cost them much less.
“I enrolled so lots of them in several sorts of crafts. Some are technicians. They are studying cell phone repairs. Some restore fridge, radio, blender or tv, whereas some are into carpentry work. They could make government chairs. We have skilled welders and fabricators amongst them. Some are into shoe making, pc enterprise and much extra. For the ladies, they go into tailoring and hair dressing.
“We even opened an grownup literacy college. Some have no idea learn how to learn and write, and we’ve got been instructing them. We additionally train them Arabic. We graduated so lots of the inmates, and as they grew to become impartial, they survive on what they learnt.
“I used to be additionally in a position to present job for a few of the inmates as safety males. They go to work every day with a meals flask. Every month, I ensured they’re paid their stipends. They are those securing the Panteka Market.
“My name to the federal government is that they need to observe the recommendation given by the chairman of presidential committee on drug abuse, Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd). He as soon as got here to our centre throughout a tour and lauded our achievements. Gen. Marwa even stated he has by no means seen the kind of initiative we put in place right here in another place.
“Everything on this rehabilitation centre is on autopilot. In most circumstances, the skilled ones among the many inmates train the remaining ones. They train themselves trades.
“I’ve proven all my paperwork to the federal government. You may even see them for your self. I registered with the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) and I’ve my different medication certificates intact. My safety firm was additionally registered. I’ve a certificates from the Bureau of Religious Affairs (Islamic Matters) as properly. You can see all of the awards I’ve received on the wall.
“All that I’m doing is for the sake of God and repair to humanity. They will not be supposed to return after me this manner. In truth, out of the 147 inmates, solely 13 will not be owing college charges. The remaining ones are owing me. This service I’m rendering is even at my very own danger.
Some of the dad and mom gave completely different interpretations to the raid, evacuation and reuniting with their youngsters. A dad or mum, Balaraba Tukur, stated she had no grievance about Malam Niga Centre as a result of she benefitted from it.
She stated: “Malam Niga foundation has helped reform my daughter who was into drugs before I took her to him. She was taking more than 100 PCs of drugs at once, but now, thanks to God and Malam Niga who helped in reforming her into a good human now.”
Tukur additional stated there was no extortion of any charge by Malam Niga as in opposition to the allegation in opposition to him that he extorts additional charge from the dad and mom of the victims.
She stated: “I brought my daughter to this foundation myself and he admitted my daughter without me paying a dime. I only bought a form to ascertain that I agreed with his terms and conditions.”
Another dad or mum, Hajiya Halima, additionally lamented over the closure of the Malam Niga basis, saying she introduced her youngster by herself as a result of he was taking medicine like pure water.
“I brought my own son myself and I am very happy with the way he has changed. Moreover, he has learnt the computer very well and now operates it as he learned it from the Niga foundation.”
For Umar Ibrahim who’s among the many committee of fogeys within the basis, he expressed his fear over the closure of the inspiration.
“I’ve introduced three of my youngsters to this place and I’ve benefitted from it. Closing it down is rarely the answer as a result of authorities can not do what Malam Niga has completed for our kids.
“These children have to be chained because some of them have mental challenges due to the drugs they have been taking. I see it as a normal process of keeping those with such challenges under control.”
Meanwhile, Kaduna State Government appears to be able to wage battle in opposition to such centres posing as rehabilitation centres to torture human beings. The Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, condemned the inhuman remedy in opposition to fellow human being.
She assured that the federal government would take vital actions in opposition to the operators whereas warning in opposition to taking their wards to such centres or they’d even be made to face the complete wrath