The police have shut down a religious centre housing some “maltreated children” in the Sabon Garin area of Daura in Katsina state.
Briefing reporters at the centre on Monday, Sanusi Buba, commissioner of police, said investigation revealed that the place had been in existence for at least 40 years.
He said some children who fled the centre had raised the alarm, leading to a police raid.
A total of 360 inmates at the centre reportedly escaped after breaking the burglary proof on Sunday.
Buba said there were six rooms in the facility and each of the rooms accommodated over 40 inmates who were dehumanised.
The police commissioner said some of the children, who have now been rescued, were found in chains.
Buba said some of the inmates were handcuffed and compelled to sleep in rooms that were not ventilated.
“We would mount surveillance to fish out such culprits subjecting children to servitude,” he said.
He urged parents who took their children to the centre to come forward with valid means of identification to claim them, saying “no law in the country permits such inhuman treatment.”
The commissioner added that the condition of inmates called for urgent and serious concern, saying the police would search the 34 local government areas in the state to unravel such centres.
Faruk Faruk, emir of Daura, called on the police and other relevant security agencies to carry out thorough investigation on the issue.
He urged the police to be fair and just in their investigation so that the culprits would face appropriate sanctions.
The emir, who expressed shock at the discovery, said it was a surprise for such a thing to happen in his domain.
The development comes three weeks after about 300 children were found in similar condition at a religious centre in Kaduna.