The-78-year-old proprietor of the sealed Qur’anic and Rehabilitation center, Mallam Bello Abdullahi, was yesterday remanded in prison after he was arraigned before a Senior Magistrate Court in Katsina.
Bello, alongside two others; Habibu Bello, 28, and Abba Abubakar,16, were charged before the court for criminal conspiracy, wrongful confinement, and cruelty to children.
A police first information report read at the court stated that “on 13/10/2019 at about 10.00hrs, information was received at the Divisional police Headquarters, Sabon Gari Daura, that one Mallam Bello and the following persons Habibu Bello and Abba Abubakar, all from Daura town conspired and opened an illegal rehabilitation center in the town.
“They continued to deceive people from various states and neighbouring countries to bring their children between 12 and 16 years and adult people in the name of rehabilitation center or school where they confined over 300 inmates on chains.
“They continued to maltreat them by beating, insulting and detaining them, especially underage children. This treatment made them to break the house they were confined and they started running inside the town with chains on their legs. Hence, the reports to the Sabon Gari police state, Daura.”
The prosecuting police officer told the court that the actions of the accused were contrary to Section 97, 257(b) and 238 of the penal code upon which they were being charged with.
The Presiding Magistrate, Nuradeen Abdullahi, thereafter asked the accused to be remanded in prison till October 22 when bail application on their matter could be entertained.
It could be recalled that on Monday, the state commissioner of police, Sanusi Buba, while leading newsmen to the premises of the school, said 67 persons aged between seven and 40 years were found shackled with chains.
Buba said they had been evacuated to the hospital for treatment, while efforts were still ongoing to reunite them with their respective families.