Former Super Eagles player, Sam Sodje, has described the match fixing and fraud charges brought against him and his brothers as a witch-hunt.
Recall that there was a report last week that the Sodje brothers – Efe, 46, Stephen, 43, and Bright, 52 were said to have siphoned cash from their charity, Sodje Sports Foundation (SSF), and were jailed in 2017.
The case was kept under wraps due to a clause preventing it from being publicised until the conclusion of a separate trial involving one of the Sodje Brothers, Sam, who was on Monday cleared of money laundering.
However, reacting to the report, Sam, 39, described the allegations levelled against him and his brothers, as the ‘highest witch hunt ever.’
According to the ex-Super Eagles defender, “all these talks and crime they brought against my brothers are all lies. They are not really the ones they targeted but me – Sam Sodje. This is the highest witch hunt ever.
“It is all cooked up because the journalist that set me up on the match fixing/money laundering scandal was jailed for fake news. The one we called ‘fake sheikh’.”
“Mazher Mahmoud is a well known journalist always setting up top people. He has been in this business for over 30 years. If it was true, why is it that it was the journalist that went to prison and not me?”
Speaking on the part played by Bright Sodje, Sam said, “the £60,000 they claimed the Sodjes embezzled, Bright alone is worth 10 times more of that. He has a house in Tunisia, Morocco and Spain. Why will he go and do that kind of fraud?
He added, “Bright is not like me. He is typical English. A proper English man and he is a magistrate. Can you imagine that? A magistrate. It is because they could not believe that Mahmoud will go to prison for lying and peddling fake news.
“Two of our board of trustees/directors are Clive Betts (MP) and Ashley Carson. My brother Bright Sodje is the third person on the board. The three of them are the signatories to the foundation’s account. The three of them are the ones who sign cheques. I have never seen the cheques before. Efe has never seen the cheques too before.
“If you say the foundation is a fraud, arrest everybody… but who are the first set of people to be arrested? Is it not the board of trustees/directors? And the accountant?
You know one funny thing? Betts and Carson left the foundation at the same time.
“When the investigators went to court, they included Bright because he is a Sodje but left both Betts and Carson out. Just think about that. You claimed to be investigating the foundation, why not bring in all the three people that do sign the cheques?
“The question to ask is why is it that Betts and Carson that were part of board of directors was not included in the trial of the foundation’s fraud charges? Why just Bright alone? After all, three of them were the signatories to every cheque?
On why he was not convicted, Sam said he was found guilty since he didn’t did nothing.
“They found me not guilty because I didn’t do anything. Where the judge became baffled was when he saw where they said I took £300 out of £80,000 and also gave out £20,000 to charity in 2012. That made the judge to ask if I could give £20,000 of my personal money to charity, so, its only £300 money laundering he’ll go and get involved in?
“I’ll tell you that it’s ‘operation bring the Sodjes down’ that’s going on in England. Let’s say the fraud issue is really correct, everyone is suppose to be in prison by now. It is lies.
“The match fixing allegation didn’t go well as they expected that’s why they came up with the fraud thing with my brothers involved. I was also included in the fraud thing concerning the Sodje foundation. When I won that, they now brought money laundering charges against me again. It was not even my case but some other people.
“The question my lawyer asked in court was ‘are you telling me that Sam took £80,000, he gave £79,700 to the people involved and he took just £300 out of it? How stupid does that sound?’
“The Sodjes hobnob with the MPs and most of our meetings were held in the parliament. For a black man to be doing that, we’ve gone too far and they don’t like that. You see me and my family, we don’t care about what they are saying in the media. You see, assuming we are not British, they would have told us to go back home. But because they can’t do that, they are left with tarnishing the Sodje name.
Sam further stressed that none of his brothers went to jail, as they just returned from Nigeria, where they went to bury their late mother.
“How can my brothers be in jail when we just returned from Nigeria? We all just came back from Nigeria from burying our mother. My brothers never went to prison for one day. When the jail terms were read out in court, they appealed it and that’s what’s going on right now. They never were in prison.
Sam said they were already fighting the British media for fake report.
“Guess who we are fighting again? It’s the British media. And all these is because of the journalist that is jailed for giving fake news in the case. Just because I won the case on Monday and they were ordered to pay my expenses for the duration of the court case, the next thing, the media went crazy.
“There’s so much to this case that the world out there doesn’t know. Can you imagine how many copies of papers Sun UK sold that morning that the scandal broke with my pictures on their front page? I’ll tell you, they sold 1.7 million copies just within two hours.
“Look at what they did to Sam Allardyce? They always set up people while claiming to investigate a none existing allegation. They could not even bring any indicting document to support their case against me in court. I have never even bet in my life before. How can a judge say every Nigerian is a fraudster? He has no right to say that.
“The bone of contention against the Sodjes is that we are fighting the system back. As the case was going on, I went ahead to buy a 350 Benz SUV hero and that got them infuriated the more. Saying I was not suppose to buy the car as the case was ongoing in court. That my account should be frozen,” Sam Sodje disclosed. (The Cable)