259 people freed from abusive Islamic rehabilitation centre by Nigerian police
Nigerian police have freed 259 people from an Islamic rehabilitation centre in the southwestern city of Ibadan, police said on Tuesday, taking the number rescued from abusive institutions since September to nearly 1,500.
Islamic schools, known as Almajiris, are common across the north of the West African country. Such schools have for years been dogged by allegations of abuse and accusations that some children have been forced to beg on the streets of cities in the north.
Crackdown on informal Islamic schools
Nigeria launched a crackdown on informal Islamic schools and rehabilitation centres in late September after a man was refused permission to see his nephews at one institution and complained to the police.
Majority were youngsters: Emaciated boys and men
After the captives were released showed a group of mostly young men and teenage boys. Few infants were also among the group. According to allegations, were forced to beg on the streets.
Food fed unfit for dogs
The captives appeared to be malnourished were given one meal a day and the food wasn't even fit for a dog to eat.
Stories of physical, sexual torture
Many captives have said they were physically and sexually abused and chained up to prevent them from escaping.
Bound in shackles
Some people were locked inside a building and some were chained.
Oyo's commissioner of police, Shina Olukolu, said that anyone found culpable would be prosecuted to "serve as a warning to others who may want to operate such houses that serve as illegal detention centres".