A gunman who executed a mother-of-two and her nephew in cold blood has been found guilty of their murders after the two died at their family home.
Obina Ezeoke, 28, was convicted on Wednesday, 9 September at the Old Bailey of the murders of Annie Ekofo, 53, and her 21-year-old nephew Bervil Kalikaka-Ekofo.
London Ambulance Service called police at around 06:20hrs on 15 September 2016 to reports of ‘two people injured’ at an address in Elmshurst Crescent, N2.
999 Response Team officers rushed to the scene where they found Annie and her nephew suffering from horrific gunshot injuries.
Emergency service personnel tried to resuscitate the two victims, but despite their best efforts, both were pronounced dead.
Four other people were at the address at the time, including an eight-year-old child. They were not harmed and did not require any treatment.
The trial heard harrowing details of how evil Ezeoke had gained entry to the family’s home after waiting for the communal door to the main block to be opened.
Once the communal door was opened, Ezeoke walked through the front door to the property which was unlocked at the time.
Ezeoke then calmly walked over to the bed where Bervil was sleeping and shot him in the back of the head at point-blank range.
After being awoken by the noise of gunfire, Annie stepped out of her bedroom, which was on the same floor as Bervil’s bedroom was located. Ezeoke then shot her in the chest before running away from the scene.
The Met’s Specialist Crime Command launched an investigation and detectives soon established a sequence of events that led to Ezeoke’s arrest.
CCTV footage captured a black Vauxhall Meriva parking in Elmhurst Crescent just after 06:10hrs and leaving around 10 minutes later.
Further enquiries by detectives revealed that the vehicle had come from and returned to the Grahame Park Estate in Colindale. Investigators were able to prove to the court that Ezeoke was at the estate immediately before and after the murders.
A forensic examination of the Vauxhall Meriva by scenes of crime officers found high levels of gunshot residue in the vehicle.
Gunshot residue particles were also found on a white polo shirt worn by Ekeoke on the morning of the shooting, as well as on other clothing and on his head and hair.
Investigators traced the vehicle back to Ezeoke and established that he had used false names and addresses to register and insure it.
Thanks to the quick work of detectives, Ezeoke was identified as a suspect and was arrested within days on murdering the pair. He was charged with two counts of murder on 20 September 2016.
A search of his property by detectives and scenes of crime officers proved vital, as items including an empty handgun case and parking tickets linking him to the Vauxhall Meriva were soon recovered.
Bervil – a student at the University of West London – had planned to stay at the house for just one night.
Detectives believe that a relative of Annie and Bervil who was not at the property that fateful evening and who Ezeoke and his associates had a long-running feud with, was the intended target of the murderer.
Detectives confirmed that neither Annie nor Bervil had any involvement in the on-going feud and that this murder was a case of mistaken identity.
The court heard that Ezeoke was stabbed multiple times in October 2015, and the shooting is believed to have been in retaliation for that incident.
Ezeoke had been released from prison in April 2016 having served time for various drug offences.
Detective Chief Inspector Garry Moncrieff, who led the investigation, said:
“Annie and Bervil were brutally gunned down in what should have been the safety of their family home.
“It appears that they were totally innocent victims, killed as a result of escalating violence between rival groups, and the latest in a series of violent clashes dating back several years.
“This double murder has devastated Bervil and Annie’s families, and I hope that they find some comfort in knowing that the man who killed them has been brought to justice and now faces life imprisonment.
“We will not tolerate the use of firearms on the streets of London, and those who carry guns should know that we will relentlessly pursue anyone involved in gun crime and bring them before the courts where they will face significant prison sentences.”
Ezeoke is due to be sentenced on Thursday, 1 October.
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