At least 126 workers who were held hostage for three months at Popular Farms and Mills Limited located in Challawa Industrial Estate, Kano state has been rescued by the Police Command in the state.
NaijaNews learnt that on the 21st of June, a complaint was received from Global Community for Human Rights Network, Kano, that some labourers were wrongly confined inside the said mill.
The incident was confirmed by Abdullahi Haruna, police public relations officer.
He said “On receiving the information a team of policemen was deployed and when a search was conducted, 126 labourers trapped inside the factory for three months were rescued,”
He said the Command also effected the arrest of four officials of the factory and investigation has commenced to “unravel facts of the matter”.
The worker narrated that their employees detained them in the factory since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, in a bid to avoid the importation of the virus to the factory.
They said they were promised an increase in their monthly salary, and that those who did not accept were threatened with dismissal.
The workers alleged that they were forced to work in poor condition during their lock up.
“We were treated like slaves for three months,” one of the freed workers was quoted to have said.
“We were all set free on Monday. It was a nasty experience…I don’t know how to describe the food we were fed with. The head of the administration recruited one woman who was cooking the food for us to buy.
“My monthly salary was N32,000. We were working day and night. I wanted to leave but there was no way; my wife and children were traumatized.”
Karibu Kabara, a member of the human rights network, said his organisation was taking up the case to ensure that the men got justice.
“What I saw was heartbreaking. Where the company kept these people to live isn’t fit for animals,” he said.
“Their meals weren’t enough and there were no drugs for those that took ill.”