AN ASSASSIN who crept into a family home and shot dead an innocent mother-of-nine and her sleeping nephew is facing a life sentence after he was tried a record five times.
Student Bervil Kalikaka-Ekofo, 21, and his aunt Annie Ekofo, 53, were executed by Obina Ezeoke, 28, after he sneaked in through their unlocked front door on September 15, 2016.
Ezeoke carried out the revenge hit after footage of him being attacked was shared on Snapchat by rivals including Ms Ekofo’s son Ryan Efey, 22, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Efey was probably the intended target but Ezeoke decided he would kill anyone in the flat.
Juries in May 2018 and March last year failed to reach verdicts and a 2017 trial was aborted after a judge was forced to withdraw with agonising back pain.
Prosecutors made the exceptional choice to pursue a fifth trial after his last hearing collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.
Traditionally, a defendant was only ever tried twice if a jury could not agree.
Ezeoke fired a bullet into the back of Bervil’s head with a vintage Western-style revolver at her apartment in East Finchley, North London.
He then wheeled around and blasted the victim’s aunt Annie in the chest with the Smith and Wesson.44 when she came out of her bedroom dressed only in her underwear.
His hate was such that he did not falter when confronted by a second person and he simply took her life as well. Both lives taken were wholly innocent
Neither Bervil nor Annie were the intended targets, the court was told.
Ezeoke carried out the killings as part of a “vendetta of violence” before fleeing the scene in a Vauxhall Meriva at around 6.30am in the morning.
He maintained he had been on Grahame Park estate in North London with four friends at the time of the murders.
The killer claimed gunshot residue particles discovered in the getaway car, which evidence showed had been bought and insured by him under a false name, came from a different shooting when others had used the vehicle.
But an Old Bailey jury convicted him of the two murders today after deliberating for 41 hours and ten minutes over eight days.
Ezeoke slumped to his seat as the guilty verdicts were read.
Mrs Justice Cutts remanded the double killer in custody and will sentence him on 1 October.
Prosecutor Mark Heywood said: “Ezeoke went there quite deliberately, with a gun and of course sufficient ammunition to use it, to attack and kill one of the young men of the family.
“His hate was such that he did not falter when confronted by a second person and he simply took her life as well. Both lives taken were wholly innocent.”
Mr Kalikaka-Ekofo was visiting the flat in East Finchley at short notice for one night only so he could not have been expected to be there.
My Heywood added: “It was two separate murders within a short space of time. No one could, or will, we understand, possibly suggest anything else.
“These were execution killings, in effects. There had been a trend to modify ammunition to fit vintage weapons like the revolver and the overall likelihood is that that is what was done here.”
Mrs Ekofo, who came to the UK with her husband from the Congo in 1991, lived with her family at the flat.
Four other people were also in the house but were unharmed in the attack.