The Kaduna State Police Command Saturday revealed that it had handed over 300 children who were rescued from a rehabilitation centre at Rigasa to the state government.
Police freed as many as 400 captives, aged 6 to 50, from a supposed Islamic school in Rigasa, Kaduna State, in a raid on Thursday.
Some of the captives were chained to radiators, tires or hub caps, allegedly sexually abused and tortured, bearing visible scars from whippings and beatings.
A makeshift camp had been set up by the police for the freed captives.
More than a dozen of the children were said to be in critical condition. Ten of the children were hospitalised on Saturday, while some of the adults were in critical condition, with one vomiting blood.
Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo, speaking on Saturday, said that over 300 inmates were handed over to the Kaduna State Government for a reunion with their families.
He, however, said that seven suspects earlier arrested were being investigated.
The PRO disagreed with some parents of the rescued children who had disputed police claims that the inmates were being abused and held against their wish.
Defending the police raid on the centre, DSP Sabo said it was based on reports of torture and abuse, not whether the inmates were willingly taken there by their parents.
“Whether or not they were the ones who handed their children over, there is a limitation to what can be done to human beings, even by parents.
“According to law, even if it is the father that subjected his child to inhuman treatment, there is a level where he will be held liable for his action.
“Nobody is questioning whether the parents took their children there, what we are saying is that inhuman treatment was meted out to those children in violation of the law.
“The school in question have no licence to operate as well. The agencies of government that are supposed to supervise them are not put into consideration. As far as we know, they have not tendered any document to show that they were licenced.
“The school is concurrently running both educational and correctional programmes which are supposed to be different institutions with different licences.
“If you have a licence to offer a correctional program, that in itself does not give you a right to offer an educational program.
“Even if you are licenced, it does not give you the right to go ahead without having the required manpower and skills to carry out the programme. All these are not there,” Sabo said.
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