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Sodje brothers jailed for defrauding charity

00:44 GMT+3 22/01/2019
Efe Sodje
The Nigerian brothers "misued their privileged position to exploit donors and supporters" after diverting funds from a charity they own

Efe Sodje, Stephen Sodje and Bright Sodje were handed jail terms in 2017 after the three Nigerian brothers defrauded their own charity.

The Sodje Sports Foundation [SSF] was established in 2009 to cater for African children, or precisely, provide help for children in Nigeria.

Former Nigeria international Efe, 46, and Stephen, 43, and ex-rugby player Bright, 52, were all found guilty of siphoning money off the foundation.

According to prosecutor Julian Christopher QC, cash raised at black-tie dinners, auctions, charity football matches and a clay pigeon shoot was instead directed to Sodje bank accounts.

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

He further stated that, asides cash donations, "at least £63,000 can be shown to have been received by the fund." The trio "went out of their way" not to have a proper record of the foundation's proceeds.

He added that their legacies were "forever tainted by their dishonest and disreputable conduct."

For their jail terms, Efe was handed 18 months, Stephen got two-and-a-half-year while Bright was jailed for 21 months.

Although their fates were determined last two years, reporting it then was restricted due to an ongoing case that involved another Sodje brother, Sam.

The conclusion of the case - which saw the former Nigeria and Reading defender declared not guilty - gave room for reporting the case of his three other brothers.