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Ex Eagles Star Efe Sodje, Brothers Get Jail Terms In England For Siphoning Family’s Charity’s Money

Ex Eagles Star Efe Sodje, Brothers Get Jail Terms In England For Siphoning Family’s Charity’s Money

Former Super Eagles defender Efe Sodje has been found guilty of siphoning off money from his family’s charity, the Sodje Sports Foundation (SSF). and jailed for 18 months in England.


Sodje capped 12 times by Nigeria was given 18 months in jail, having received around £7,500 plus an unknown amount of cash from the clay pigeon shoot.


According to a report on Irish Examiner, Sodje who was “the face” of the charity, collapsed in the dock when the verdict was passed and staggered away supported on each side by officers.


His brothers Stephen Sodje, 43, and ex-footballer and ex-rugby player Bright Sodje, 52, were also found guilty and jailed. 


Stephen Sodje, of Bexley was sentenced to two years and six months in prison, saying he lied repeatedly to the jury and was a “self-regarding and arrogant man with a strong sense of self-entitlement”. 

The court heard he received about £30,000 from the charity funds, but continued to protest his innocence, describing it as expenses or wages.


Bright Sodje was jailed for 21 months for his part in “milking the charity”.  He had received some £3,000, but also signed cheques to other family members totaling about £18,000.


Sentencing Judge, Michael Topolski QC told the defendants: “You have brought shame upon yourselves and your family.


“In this case, the defendants were all well known and respected men, particularly in the world of football and sport both here and in Africa.”


“One had the honour of playing for his country in the World Cup final.
“I have no doubt to some extent at least it was that form of respect that made it possible or more likely that their fans and admirers would make donations to the charity that had been formed by them in their name.


“At least £63,000 have been shown to have been received by the fund.”
The Judge  added it was important to note that did not include cash donations, and the defendants “went out of their way” to ensure that proper records were not kept.”


“Any good works done in the past would be “forever tainted by their dishonest and disreputable conduct,” he added.


The Sodjes had set up their charity in 2009 to help provide sporting facilities to youngsters in Nigeria.


Ex-Super Eagles defender Efe Sodje was described as “the face of the charity” by the judge


Ashley Carson, a businessman, and director of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, and one of the city’s MPs, Clive Betts, were recruited to give the charity respectability – but when they asked for bank statements and financial reports, they were fobbed off.


Once the pair resigned as trustees and directors in 2013, “the amount of money being transferred to the Sodje family increased dramatically”, prosecutor Julian Christopher QC said.


Cash raised at black-tie dinners, auctions, charity football matches, and a clay pigeon shoot went into Sodje bank accounts.


The SSF held a charity football match at Sheffield Wednesday’s grounds in 2009 and arranged a fundraising dinner at Charlton Football Club in September 2010.
In 2011, there was a gala dinner at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester for the SSF and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital – a charity supported by England women’s football coach Phil Neville.
Efe handed out Easter eggs – provided by the hospital – to child cancer patients, while five Sodje brothers attended a £150-a-head black-tie dinner. The event raised almost £11,500, but Mr. Christopher said: “Not a penny went to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.”


In 2011, there was a gala dinner at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester for the SSF and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital – a charity supported by England women’s football coach Phil Neville.


Efe handed out Easter eggs – provided by the hospital – to child cancer patients, while five Sodje brothers attended a £150-a-head black-tie dinner.

The event raised almost £11,500, but Mr. Christopher said: “Not a penny went to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.”

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • What is wrong with this family?

    It wasn’t long ago that Sam Sodje was implicated in a match fixing scandal, now this.

    May God grant us wisdom knowledge and direction.

    Sam Sodje match fixing scandal:

    https://youtu.be/MwdrUPlunw4

     
    • The case againt Sam in the video was dropped and he was found not guilty in the same charges here. lets not taint all for the sins of some

       
      • I am not tainting anybody. The facts and outcomes are out there for all to read and make up their minds.

        Sam Sodje was caught up in a match fixing scandal to which the quantum of proof required to convict in a criminal court (which is beyond a reasonable doubt) could not guarantee a conviction hence the case was dropped.

        The use of the word “implicate” in my contribution above should not be mistaken with the word “convict”.

        One can be initially implicated in a case without be subsequently convicted.

         
  • Asoko Emmanuel 2 years ago

    Not again,this is a big shame,corruption eating deep into the fabric of our DNA,we should join hands to fight this hydra-headed-monster.

     
  • Lucky Ukhun 2 years ago

    Terrible! Terrible!! Terrible!!! The endless acts of dishonesty, stealing, internet fraud (yahoo boys) is so rampant among Nigerians living abroad that as a Nigerian who still has some decency in him, you find yourself in the awkward situation of feeling embarrassed, ashamed and even scared to tell Nationals from other countries that you are a Nigerian. That name NIGERIA has become a taboo abroad. Why most Nigerians value and worship money so much is still a mystery. Little wonder the country is the way it is. Money is good, but it must be had in the right way.