A 28-year-old man named Obina Ezeoke was sentenced to life in prison at the Old Bailey courthouse today, Thursday, October 1st, for two murders. Although he was given a life sentence, he will be eligible for parole in 40 years. Ezeoke killed a 53-year-old mother of two named Annie Ekofo, and her 21-year-old nephew Bervil Kalikaka-Ekofo.
The murders took place at an address in Elmshurst Crescent, N2. around 06:20hrs on the 15th of September 2016. When police arrived on the scene, officers found Annie and her nephew suffering from severe gunshot wounds. Emergency crews desperately tried to save them, but they were sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
Four other people, including an eight-year-old child, were inside the home at the time of the murders, but luckily they were not harmed. This child and the other occupants will still be left with painful mental trauma after living through such a tragedy.
According to testimony given in court during the trial, Ezeoke infiltrated the building after waiting for the outside communal door to open. While making his way through the building, Ezeoke found Annie’s front door unlocked.
Ezeoke then stepped into the bedroom where Bervil was sleeping and shot him in the back of the head at point blank range, according to the Metropolitan Police. The gunshot woke Annie up, and she stepped out of her bedroom to check on the commotion. As soon as she reached the hallway, Ezeoke shot her in the chest and then fled the scene.
The Met’s Specialist Crime Command launched an investigation and determined that Ezeoke was targeting another member of the family that was not home on the night of the murder. Ezeoke reportedly had some type of feud with the relative of Annie and Bervil, but neither of them was involved. Police believe that this was a case of mistaken identity.
It is suspected that Ezeoke was seeking revenge on the other family member who was not named. Court testimony indicated that Ezeoke was stabbed multiple times in October 2015, and spent six weeks in hospital recovering from life-threatening injuries. It is believed that he carried out his murder in an apparent retaliation on the wrong person.
Police were able to link Ezeoke to the crime through CCTV footage captured a black Vauxhall Meriva in Elmhurst Crescent. Upon further investigation, police found that the vehicle had come from and returned to the Grahame Park Estate in Colindale. They eventually traced the vehicle back to Ekeoke, although it was not registered or insured under his name. Police found other evidence, including gunshot residue particles on a white polo shirt worn by Ekeoke on the morning of the shooting.
Within days of the murders, he was identified and arrested by police and charged with two counts of murder. After searching his property, investigators found an empty handgun case and parking tickets linking him to the vehicle.
Detective Chief Inspector Garry Moncrieff, who led the investigation, said that the victims were innocent people who were caught up in the crossfire between two rival groups.