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Nigerian Gets Life Jail in UK for Murder of Another Nigerian

Then a teenager, 24-year-old Jeffrey Okafor (not related to this reporter), stabbed 19-year-old disc jockey  (DJ), Carl Asiedu to death outside Club Life nightclub in Vauxhall, London in August 2009, before fleeing to Nigeria five days later, using his brother’s name and passport.
CCTV footage of August 17, 2009, showed Okafor and his older brother swapping clothing at the Heathrow Airport, prior to his flight to Nigeria.
He then settled down to a new life, completed  his university education and was doing his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Delta State, when men from the Nigerian Police Force arrested him at a bank in Warri on September 23, last year. He was extradited to the UK two months later. The 24-year old was charged on his arrival and appeared at the Croydon Magistrate Court before the case was transferred to the Woolwich Crown Court, which has a higher jurisdiction.
Before his arrest last year, Okafor, who will serve a minimum of 17 years before being considered for parole, had confessed of the murder to his girlfriend, Ms Merissa Anderson, before fleeing the UK.  He was on the run for five years and it was on the fifth anniversary of Asiedu’s death that his family and the Police changed tactics in an effort to nail the killer. Apart from putting £10,000 on the table for anyone who could provide information leading to his arrest, a social media campaign on Facebook was launched and this eventually led to information which was used to track him down in Warri last year.
Before his conviction by jurors on Thursday last week, the Woolwich Crown Court heard how Okafor had telephoned his girlfriend, Anderson, telling her he had been involved in a “madness” at the Club. Three days later, he then confessed to her that it was actually him who had stabbed Asiedu in the stomach.
Okafor, who denied the murder before the jury took just two hours in convicting him, also told his girlfriend: “You know that Ed Hardy T – shirt? Get it into a plastic bag and put it into a bin in the road,” when she visited him at his East Dulwich home in August 2009. He also gave her the pair of black gloves he wore on the night of the murder, and told her to look after them. When police later traced Anderson and interviewed her, she gave them the gloves, and traces of Asiedu’s DNA were found on them. The girlfriend revealed further that she felt under pressure, but still did as she was told. The court heard also that when Okafor got home later on the day of the murder, he looked agitated and said: “I am going down, the Feds are going to be on me.”
Prosecutor, Sarah Whitehouse, QC (Queen’s Counsel) told the court that prior to the stabbing of Asiedu,  there was nothing serious between the latter’ group of friends and that of his killer. She also told the court: “You may hear that there was some ill-feeling between some members of the two groups, but there was nothing serious enough in the background for anyone to explain why knives should be drawn.”
Asiedu, who was with a group of friends when Okafor stabbed  him on the  day he met his untimely death,  was being driven to the St Thomas’ Hospital in South East London, by friends when the Police stopped their car and found him slumped in the back. They tried in vain to revive him and he was pronounced dead shortly after. A post- mortem examination later revealed the cause of his death a single stab wound to the heart. Although two of his friends who were also stabbed by two of Okafor’s group both survived, unfortunately for the university undergraduate of De Montfort University in Leicester,  Asiedu didn’t make it.
Two of Okafor’s friends had been jailed a few years ago, for their parts in the incident. Twenty-four-year old Junior Ademujimi Falade, though cleared of murder, was ‘sent down’ (jailed) for eight years after a two-week retrial at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey. A 20-year old Coventry University IT undergraduate, Bolaji Kako – Are was also ‘sent down’ for 30 months in June 2011, after being convicted of violent disorder.

Okafor’s 27-year-old brother, Junior Okafor, was jailed for four years in August 2010, for preventing the course of justice. He it was who convinced their mother to pay for the plane ticket to Nigeria and also arranged for his girlfriend to drive the murderer to Heathrow Airport.  Their mother was cleared in the case.
Two other Nigerians had already been jailed for their part in the attacks.
Jailing Okafor for life in courtroom 5, on Friday, Judge Christopher Kinch QC ordered him to spend the next 17 years behind bars, before any consideration for parole.

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