Obina Ezeoke: Double murderer faces 40 years behind bars over East Finchley killings
- Credit: Archant
“The image of her dying on the floor is always in my head.”
As a “cowardly” double murder was jailed for a minimum of forty years, the husband of one of his victims told how he would always struggle to move on from the violence that scarred his family.
Obina Ezeoke, 28, was jailed for a minimum of 40 years for the double shooting of Annie Ekofo, 53, and her nephew Bervil Kalikaka-Ekofo, 21.
The pair were killed in the early hours of September 15, 2016, when Ezeoke crept into Annie’s East Finchley home shortly after 6am.
The confessed drug dealer, previously of Bethnal Green, was convicted of the double murder in September after five trials.
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The first, in 2017, collapsed after the then trial judge suffered a bad back midway through, and two subsequent juries failed to reach verdicts in 2018 and 2019, despite a majority direction.
READ MORE: ‘Silent assassin’ from Bethnal Green convicted of East Finchley double murderREAD MORE: Alleged assassin had getaway car ‘under his control’ court hearsThe fourth was abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.
Sentencing, Mrs Justice Cutts said: “Whatever the motive, you murdered two entirely innocent people.
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“Your cold, callous and brutal murders of two people has not only cut short their lives but ruined the lives of many.
In a statement, Osman Jeanefey, the husband of mum-of-nine Mrs Ekofo, said: “I think about Annie every day, I can’t believe she is gone. Sometimes I feel I will go mad and the image of her dying on the floor is always in my head.
“I hope that our lives will be better and God will give me the strength to stop crying. There is so much sadness in our house now.”
Ezeoke had denied any involvement in the murders and told successive juries that he had an alibi for the time of the shootings.
But police were able to trace him after identifying a black Vauxhall Meriva spotted on CCTV outside of Annie Ekofo’s Elmshurst Crescent home. He had driven in to the scene from the Grahame Park Estate in Colindale.
Detectives argued the crime was a case of mistaken identity – and that Ezeoke had a “long-running feud” with another member of the family.
Across the series of trials, jurors heard how the shooting was the result of a “vendetta of violence”. They were told Ezeoke was stabbed multiple times in October 2015, and that the shooting is believed to have been in retaliation.
Det Ch Insp 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.”