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Nigerias torture houses (2)

Published by The Nation on Sun, 10 Nov 2019


Mikky AttahTHE onthe- spot assessment visit to the Rigasa area Nigas Centre in September revealed that the place was just another torture camp where inmates were kept chained, starved and dehumanised. The Governor Nasir El- Rufailed team discovered and rescued one hundred and forty-seven people, including minors and women who were all taken into protective custody and sheltered at the Kaduna State hajj camp. Twenty two females were rescued, who alleged serial sexual molestation while held at the centre, and this was confirmed by the state officer of the National Human Rights Commission NHRC , Terngu Gwar. Three under- aged children were also among those rescued at the so- called skills acquisition centre.The victims are all under the care of the State Ministry of Human Services and Social Development. The Commissioner in the ministry, Hafsat Baba has the oversight and she has been very committed to the rehabilitation of the victims as well as overseeing their reunification with their families.Meanwhile , the owner of the placethe Nigas Rehabilitation and Skill Acquisition CentreDr Lawal Yusuf Madara; also known as Mallam Niga has been arrested. He is currently helping with investigations at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department , SCIID.In addition to the measures already in place, which are certainly going a long way to vivifying the victims, there are still some other steps which if taken, would definitely enhance effectiveness in rooting out these houses of torture.The Kaduna State Police PRO, DSP Yakubu Sabo has informed that the police command is investigating the authenticity and validity of the documents of registration of the Nigas Centre. In the interim, a pronouncement could be made to indicate the suspension of activities in all the busted torture houses to prevent the surreptitious resumption of activities in the currently fallow centres .The neighbourhood of Rigasa is scourged by crime. A few days back, residents of Rigasa, mostly women were shown on national television where they were weeping as they went to their state House of Assembly to meet the House over rising Insecurity in the neighbourhood. In this case then, greater patrol and similar security measures should be undertaken in the neighbourhood to enhance the safety of the residents. And considering that two torture houses have so far been discovered in the same area, then an inspection of all institutions; registered or even unregistered but situated in the area, would prove useful. Also , negligent parents of victims should be made to face the wrath of the law.There is the need to strengthen local vigilante groups who would serve as sources of needed intelligence for the police.The state police command needs to urgently form a special unit, even if it is only going to be a temporary one, with the purview of suspected torture houses.Special Units have worked very well in other regions of Nigeria , bringing about enhanced law enforcement as well as crime prevention in their various areas of operation. A good example is the AntiCultism Unit in the South- South whose operation has recorded remarkable results in the numbers of apprehensions of cultists.The NHRC says it will collaborate with other agencies of government to ensure that the victims get needed justice. This aspect appears as if it is being overlooked; understandably, in the pursuit of the immediate, which involves the safe custody of the victims, as well as their medical and psychological attention, amongst other things. But it is of great importance that justice is done; and seen to be done by the victims, even as a strong signal would be sent to other vile offenders, currently at ease in the illusion that they will never be made to face the music.07055547031 sms/whatsapp Twitter @mikky_princess
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