A man accused of murdering a Congolese mother of nine and her nephew in a shooting in East Finchley appeared in court on Wednesday (21 September).

Obina Ezeoke, 24, was charged late on Tuesday night with the murder of Annie Besala Ekofo and her nephew Bervil Kalikaka Ekofo in a fatal early morning attack last Thursday.

He appeared at Hendon Magistrates' Court for a brief hearing, where he was committed to the Old Bailey. Wearing a large grey T-shirt and matching bottoms, Ezeoke spoke only to confirm his name and birthdate.

He was flanked by two security guards as he sat in the dock and appeared alert to proceedings. District judge Mr King told Ezeoke: "Because of the circumstances this case has to go to the Central Criminal Court [The Old Bailey] and I commit it there."

"Thank you for your attendance today," he added.

The court was told Ezeoke will "strictly deny" any involvement in the murder, which brought grief to Elmhurst Crescent.

Dozens of emergency vehicles, including armed police and paramedics rushed to the estate after reports of a shooting at approximately 6.30am. Annie and Bervil were pronounced dead at the scene and an autopsy revealed the latter died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

Family members sobbed and wailed upon hearing news of the deaths, while neighbours described their shock at such violence on their doorsteps.

It is anticipated there will be one other defendant in the case, thought to be a 20-year-old man who was arrested over the deaths but released on bail until a date in late October.

Ezeoke was remanded into custody and is due to appear at the Old Bailey on Friday for a bail hearing.