TWO men have been jailed for a total of 64 years for murdering a man in a drive-by shooting in Essex.

Robert Powell, 50, was shot after leaving a party in Roydon near Harlow in the early hours of June 13, 2020.

Nana Oppong, 44, and his co-defendant Israar Shah, 39, have been convicted of murder and were sentenced to life imprisonment at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday.

Oppong, of West Road, West Ham, a high-level drug dealer and organised criminal, slipped out of the country and went on the run after organising and carrying out the execution of Mr Powell.

Echo: Missed - Robert PowellMissed - Robert Powell (Image: Essex Police)

The victim was shot eight times before the gunman swiftly returned to a car and fled the scene, Essex Police said.

A shot passed through Mr Powell and hit two nearby women, causing them injury.

Shah, who acted as a spotter in a nearby car, was also caught on CCTV quickly fleeing the scene.

The pair both fled the country in the days following the killing and were eventually caught by Essex Police and partners including the National Crime Agency.

Oppong was found in Morocco in September 2022 after trying to enter the country using false documents and was extradited to the UK in June 2023.

Shah, of Ongar Road, Kelvedon Hatch, was located in Spain in December 2022 and extradited to the UK in February 2023.

Both stood trial charged with murder and possession of a firearm.

Oppong was further charged with causing grievous bodily harm and possessing a prohibited weapon and also admitted conspiring to supply class A drugs.

Both defendants were convicted on all charges on Tuesday.

Oppong will serve a minimum term of 38 years until he can be considered for parole; Shah a minimum of 26 years.

A 40-year-old man from London was recently arrested in Spain in connection with the ongoing investigation and brought back to the UK on Thursday and charged with murder.

Det Supt Steve Jennings, who led the investigation, said: “These sentences do not mark the end of our investigation.

“We know, and the evidence is clear, others were likely involved in Robert’s murder, and we will continue to work to see them identified and arrested.”