A 25-year-old woman, identified as Ummi, has been rescued by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in Jigawa State. She was found locked in a room for several years by her father. The NSCDC spokesperson in the state, CSC Adamu Shehu, confirmed the incident in a statement released on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. The father and stepmother of the victim were also arrested by the NSCDC operatives.
The rescue operation was initiated following a complaint made by a human rights activist to the NSCDC State Command Headquarters. The activist reported that Ummi had been confined within the house for an extended period without being allowed to leave by her father.
Upon arriving at the house, NSCDC operatives discovered Ummi in a frail and neglected state. The room in which she had been locked up was being used as her toilet. The statement from the NSCDC described the arrest of the father, identified as Garba Musa (67 years old), and his wife, Aisha Abubakar (50 years old), on suspicion of violence against a person.
According to the father, he claimed that Ummi was suffering from a mental illness and had caused disturbances in the neighborhood, which was the reason for her confinement. He presented Out Patient Cards from Kazaure Psychiatric Hospital in Jigawa State, indicating previous visits for treatment in 2013, 2014, and 2018.
Investigations have revealed that Ummi’s mother separated from her husband, the suspect, about 30 years ago and was denied access to her children, despite having six of them together. Ummi’s siblings are either married or working, except for one brother who is a public servant. Her mother has since remarried and resides in Huguma Town, Kano State.
The NSCDC is currently investigating the underlying causes of Ummi’s mental illness, as she was reported to have been in good health until her disappearance after completing Junior Secondary School. The command aims to find a solution to alleviate her suffering and ensure her well-being.