Islamic Police in Kano Arrested Us at Our Hostels, Tested Us for HIV and Pregnancy—Bayero University Student Recounts His Ordeal With Hisbah

A graduate student from Bayero University in Kano recounted her encounter with officials from the Islamic police, the Hisbah Corps.

The lady told SaharaReporters that Hisbah officials broke into her hostel a few months ago while she was cooking and arrested her because she had a male guest with her.

She said she was taken to a building alongside the male guest where she saw 30 other students from the institution and a few others who were not students.

According to her, they were detained for about a day or two during which time Hisbah officials tested them for HIV and pregnancy.

She alleged that the officers forcibly gave abortion pills to one of them who tested positive for a pregnancy.

She said the victim was crying bitterly.

She further alleged that the officers demanded sex in exchange for their freedom while others were released on bail ranging from N15,000 to N20,000.

She said, “I had a meeting with Hisbah about two months ago. I am currently a master student at BUK. Hisbah officers burst into my room, they met me with a male guest. I was cooking, they knocked and I opened the door. They arrested us both and took us to a building of theirs, held us hostage for a day.

“They took our phones. We met other people there, many others. About 30 or more BUK students while others were non-students. They had also arrested prostitutes. We were all detained in the same building. While we were there some funny things happened.

“Hisbah officials conducted HIV and pregnancy tests for everyone there. Those who tested positive for HIV were taken to hospital and one person’s pregnancy test came back positive.

“She was given medication to abort the pregnancy without her consent, it happened in the same building where they held us hostage. When we confronted the woman who gave the abortion pills because she pretended to be a health worker, the woman said they were doing this because the girls were prostitutes.

“The girl cried so much. She cried because of the pain of the forced abortion and the loss of her child. I saw his blood washed away. They gave him 500 naira to buy food.

“While we were also there, the Hisbah boys were asking the girls to have sex with them, saying they would release them. Some ladies slept with them in the building and then let them go.

“One of the boys physically assaulted me. He didn’t rape me because it was open. But he was touching sensitive parts of my body. I could only hit his hand.

“I told them boldly that I didn’t know men couldn’t visit me. I have men in my class, in my church, in my house. Most of the occupants of my house are men. Why are they going to take me?

“They demanded a ‘ransom’ (bail) from everyone there. I didn’t pay because my uncle came and took me home. I didn’t pay a dime but others paid between 15,000 and 20,000 naira. I thought our school would pick us up.

“Some Igbo ladies there told me that they had just stayed in a hotel, two sisters, they came to the market to buy food and stayed in the hotel. The Hisbah’s body forced their way into their hotel room and took them both away. Actually just two ladies, no man but Hisbah was like, why should they stay in the hotel, that they are prostitutes. They said after all, what are hotels for.

“They took people from the streets, hotels and homes.”

In March, Hisbah officials also invaded some off-campus hostels in Danbare, a small community just across the gate from the university.

It was learned that the Islamic police broke into the rooms of the students and took them to their office.

Despite condemnation from Nigerians, the Hisbah group continued its campaign for an Islamic agenda in the North.

The agency set up to enforce Sharia law in some regional states recently banned disc jockeys and tricyclists from cutting their hair in style, wearing down pants, playing music at social events, to adorn their vehicles with images considered obscene and contrary to the principles of Islam. .

This was in addition to other unusual directives issued by the Islamic Police.

Hisbah recently made headlines for shaving the stylish haircuts of young men in Kano and arresting people for inappropriate dress.

They have also been known to destroy trucks full of alcoholic beverages.