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Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Ex Super Eagles Player Jailed For Fraud

Former Nigerian International, Efe Sodje has been jailed with his brothers for fraudulent actions.
Efetobore Peter "Efe" Sodje is a former professional footballer who played as a central defender for several English football league clubs and also the Nigerian National Team.

Sodje and his brother Bright Sodje a rugby player, were jailed in September 2017 after being found guilty for fruad committed by both of thr accused.

The popular sporting duo own a charity organization and were said to be taking money meant for the charity and channeling it for their personal benefits.
The charity was set up as a means for assistanting poor Children in Africa but the sporting duo had auterior motives and diverted that donations made my several individuals.

Although charged since 2017, the case can only be reported now because Sam Sodje had a separate trial which has just been concluded.Sam has been earlier cleared of money laundering charges at the Old Bailey central criminal court in London, England.

The court hearing at the Old Bailey was about how the family set up the charity foundation called the Sodje Sports Foundation in 2009 with the aim of providing sporting facilities and other basic ammenities to rural areas in Nigeria.

It was a success as donations were gotten from Charity football matches, public auctions, clay Pidgeon shoot and a black tie dinner, but the prosecutor Julian Christopher said the accumulated funds were diverted to Sodje's personal bank accounts.

In one instance, Efe Sodje handed out Easter eggs provided by the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to young cancer patients, while five Sodje brothers attended a £150-a-head black tie dinner.
The Sodje Brothers
The event raised almost £11,500, but Mr Christopher said “not a penny” went to the hospital. Judge Michael Topolski QC told the defendants: “You have brought shame upon yourselves and your family.” He said “at least £63,000 can been shown to have been received by the fund”, and added that this did not include cash donations. The defendants “went out of their way” to ensure that proper records were not kept, he said. 
Any good works done in the past would be “forever tainted by their dishonest and disreputable conduct”, he added.





Final Verdict
Stephen Sodje, of Bexley, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison for receiving £30,000 in charity funds.

Efe Sodje, of Cheadle in Greater Manchester, who was “the face” of the charity, was given 18 months in jail for receiving £7,500 from the charity and an unknown amount from a clay pigeon shooting event. 

Bright Sodje, of Sale in Greater Manchester, was jailed for 21 months for receiving £3,000 from the charity and signing cheques to other family members totalling £18,000.




Reporting restrictions meant the brothers’ convictions could only be reported by the media following the conclusion of the separate money laundering case. 

Efe Sodje, who played for the Super Eagles between 2000 and 2004, was cleared of money laundering at the Old Bailey in January 2018 but Emmanuel Ehikhamen of south-east London, and Andrew Oruma of Bexley, south London, were convicted. 

The case against Sam Sodje collapsed and his retrial began on January 7, 2019. 

Sam Sodje, who also played for Charlton Athletic, Brentford and Leeds United during his career, was charged with four counts of taking part in a fraud in which bank accounts were used to channel money from companies around the world. However, he was found not guilty of two of the charges on January 14. He was found not guilty of the remaining two counts on January 21.




Image result for sam sodje

One of the brothers, Akpo Sodje (37) was also implicated in the scandal but absconded to Dubai and rejected all requests to return to Great Britain for questions.


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