Police arrest Alleged ‘fake’ spiritualist for defrauding traders in Lagos, Ogun markets
The police have arrested a 50- year- old described as a fake spiritualist with specialization in defrauding people, Mr. Raphael Ekechi, whose victims are mainly in Lagos and Ogun States.
He was picked up from his Alagbado hideout in Lagos after his latest exploit in Abeokuta.
Ekechi claimed he had spiritual power that could fetch his victims including traders, contractors and politicians, immense fortune.
He charged his victims heavily, raking in millions of naira in the process, and he often warned them against reporting him to the police, otherwise he would deal with them spiritually.
But he ran out of luck after allegedly defrauding one Emmanuel Ekpe who defied his threat and reported him to the police.
The security men went on his trail and arrested him on July 8, 2019.
Among the items recovered from his ‘mystic temple’ during the arrest by the police were a sum of $3,700 suspected to be counterfeit, consultation forms ,a collection of Hindu paraphernalia and posters.
The suspect who gave his name in his ‘metaphysical’ business as Raghdra Anandra ,claims to be a 100 level Law student of the National Open University.
The father of four claimed that his journey into the illegal business started when “I traveled to Accra, Ghana, and customs operatives seized my goods and it disorganized me.
”I still remember, it was during the military era. I lost about N3million and it so frustrated me that I couldn’t get money and help from anyone.
“It was in that horrible state of idleness that I decided to become a fraudster.
“My second reason is that I found out that some Nigerians are gullible in order to get rich quick and I decided to use my brain instead of gun to get what I wanted.
“I lied to all my clients or should I call them victims? I lied to them that I got power and learnt metaphysical science from an Indian University and that was how I became a fraudster.
“I have sold pure water and I was making N400 daily. I have followed these people who sell fake drugs in the open market with loudspeaker and they used to give me N500 after sales. It was the activities of these fake drug sellers that helped to sharpen my mind.
“I pasted posters on the streets with Ragen Hindu monk temple boldly written on the posters to attract patronage from people in need of spiritual protection, get rich quick charm, among others.
“I charged N7,700 for consultation form, N500, 000 for power charm, N2, 000, 000(two million) to see my master general and N1,000,000 (one million) to win contract.
“I believe in the Bible and I believe that the Bible is supreme. I don’t mention Bible because I know that what I am doing is fake and you cannot joke with the Bible or the Quran.”
Recalling the incident that led to his arrest,Ekechi said : “This man, Emmanuel Ekpe, was in my office and he complained that what (charm) I did for him did not work. He wanted his business to boom and mystic power to perform miracles as an evangelist.
“I charged him a sum of N167,000 but he deposited N57,000 and he promised to pay the balance after one month.
“I told him that he must pay me the balance otherwise the charm I gave him would not work, because he cannot cheat the ‘spirit’. Unfortunately, it still did not work for him.
‘’When I told him how people like him ran away to avoid the wrath of the mystic gods, I thought that he would do the same not knowing that he went to report to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
“I plead for forgiveness, I will not defraud people again.”
Giving his own side of the story, Ekpe said he reported the suspect to the police after he threatened to deal with him for demanding a refund of his money when the charm he gave him did not work.
The 36- year- old second hand clothes trader said he approached the suspect after his business crashed and it became difficult to raise money to start all over again.
He said Ekechi gave him a ring for which he paid N18, 000.
He added: “He opened a black box and asked me to pick the ring with my left hand. He said I should do a sacrifice for it to work and he asked me to pay N120, 000, but I deposited N80,000.
“He said I would pay N18, 000 for spiritual tax, another N35, 000 for sacrifice bringing the total amount I paid to him to N167, 000.
“I told him that I did not get what I paid for; I asked him to refund my money, but he refused and instead threatened my life. But I was told he has refunded N53, 000.”