Nigerian who fled UK after killing teenager 14 years ago jailed for life

Adebayo EkunA violent gangster who escaped to Nigeria after taking part in a fatal attack on a teenager at a concert in the UK 14 years ago was finally brought to justice on Friday.

Adebayo Ekun, now 39, was part of a gang that beat and stabbed to death 18-year-old Marcus Hall in 2001, leaving him dying in the street.

In the year after the horrific murder, five people were convicted but Ekun avoided arrest and fled the UK.

He was identified in CCTV footage of the attack, which took place outside Atmosphere nightclub in Luton, because of a distinctive checked coat he was wearing.

Detectives went to a designer clothes store in London where it was discovered that the jacket was one of only nine sold in the UK – and Ekun was listed as one of the buyers.

Police raided his London home but Ekun had already left the country.

The 39-year-old was eventually located and arrested in Nigeria in February this year and extradited back to the UK.

His extradition was approved by a Federal High Court, Abuja, on March 9 and he left Abuja for London in the morning of Tuesday, March 24.

Justice A. R Mohammed gave the nod for is extradition after his lawyers dropped their objection to the extradition request brought by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

The UK Police had difficulties tracking him down because he frequently disguises himself with several aliases (Adebayo Dalvin James Ekun, Adeba Yo Kekere-Ekun, Adeba Yo Muta Lito Kekere-Ekun, James Dalvin, James Adebayo, Dave Bell, David Aaro Hall, Anthony Higgins, Lavelle Holder, Dalrin James, Dalvin James and Gary Edwin Plummer).

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested him in Lagos on February 12, 2015 with the support of the National Crime Agency. He was picked up for identity theft related offences only for checks by the agency to reveal that he is on the wanted list of the UK Police.

Following his arrest, an extradition request was filed by the UK government

On Friday he admitted to the killing at Luton Crown Court and was jailed for life with a minimum term of 10 years.

Detective Sergeant Mark Devine said: “The conviction of Adebayo Ekun today highlights the fact that if you commit, or are involved in, serious crime such as this, then there is literally no place to hide.

“Despite the passing of 14 years Bedfordshire Police has continued the hunt for the final outstanding offender to this vicious and brutal murder.

“The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit worked closely with the National Crime Agency to facilitate his extradition from Nigeria and his guilty plea today is a direct consequence of the strength of the evidence against him.

“We are pleased that he has admitted his guilt and spared Marcus’ family the ordeal of revisiting the murder of their son and brother through another crown court trial.

“We sincerely hope that today’s conviction offers them some form of closure.

“This was a vicious attack that cost a young man his life. This group thought they were above the law but violence is not acceptable and we hope this gives a strong message that we are committed to do all in our power to catch those responsible no matter how long it takes.”

In 2002 the Old Bailey heard Marcus travelled to the So Solid Crew gig from Peckham, south east London, with a group known as The Peckham Boys, but they arrived too late to get in.

A street brawl broke out near the venue in which Marcus was stabbed nine times in the back and had his skull fractured.

Seven men were jailed for life for murder, but two convictions were later quashed.

Ekun is the final member of the violent group to be jailed.