Zamfara State Government has arrested an Islamic cleric for chaining 56 persons in an illegal rehabilitation centre in Gusau town, the state capital for spiritual healings.
The cleric, Mallam Iliyasu Maimamari, was arrested on Tuesday by a team of policemen and all the 56 victims were also evacuated and taken to The Government Rehabilitation Centre in the state, while those with minor problems were taken to their homes.
The evacuated persons who included men and women ranging from 13 to 50 years of age were brought to the centre by their relatives from different parts of the state with psychiatric and other antisocial problems.
Most of the affected persons had been in chains in the centre for several years without proper feeding and in an unhealthy environment, while many of them were not in good health.
Addressing journalists during the evacuation of the victims, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Mohammed Maiturare, said the cleric had been operating the rehabilitation centre illegally without the knowledge of the state government.
The commissioner, who maintained that the cleric would be taken to court for violation of human rights, advised the people to always take their wards to legal rehabilitation centres.