57 inmates were on Monday rescued by the Zamfara State Government from an illegal rehabilitation centre in Gusau, the state capital.
They were rescued from a house which serves as the rehabilitation center operated by one Malam Iliyasu Abdullahi Gamagiwa.
Many of the inmates were chained when the rescue team led by the Zamfara State Commissioner for Special Duties Alhaji Mohammed Saddiq Maiturare stormed the place.
The commissioner said to be operating on the orders of the state governor, led a team of security operatives and some officials from the state Ministry for Women and Children Affairs to the reported Center.
On arrival, many of the inmates were found chained and were released by security operatives who also coordinated their movement to the state remand home where they were fed before the next line of action to rehabilitate and reunite them with their families.
The Commissioner who lamented the terrible condition in which the inmates were found, promised that the state government would profile them to ascertain their age and where they came from.
Some of the rescued inmates also said they were being allowed to eat only once in a day, and whenever someone is admitted, he or she would receive 50 lashes. They said they were kept in one room without adequate ventilation.
Addressing newsmen, the owner of the rehabilitation centre, Mallam Iliyasu narrated that he had been running the house for about 30 years but denied torturing anyone or keeping them against their will.
He said he collected N15,700 for registration fees and another N10,000 monthly for food and medicine.
“The duration for the rehabilitation is between three to six months after which a parent can come and pick his ward. But we don’t torture anyone here, we only rehabilitate them so that they become well-mannered,” he said.