The Director of Information (DINFO), Commodore Christian Ezekobe, in a statement on Thursday said that investigation by the Navy linked Ekpemefumor, who is also known and acknowledged as Charles Parker or Captain Charles Agaba
“It was earlier reported that a vessel, MT MAXIMUS with 18 crew members and carrying 4,368.203MT of Gas Oil was hijacked on February 11, 2016 by a group of suspected pirates off Cote d’Ivoire waters. Consequently, the Nigerian Navy deployed for rescue operations.
“The vessel was eventually rescued on 19 February 2016 within Sao Tome waters 320 nautical miles (nm) off the Nigerian coast. During the rescue operation, 6 pirates were arrested, while one of them was killed. Some items were recovered from the pirates including weapons and mobile telephones”, Ezekobe stated.
However, he said, in the course of investigations, it was revealed that on 17 February 2016 at about 10pm, while the vessel was still hijacked, a GSM phone number +2348170000979 called Inmarsat Satellite Phone number +8821644414815 onboard MT MAXIMUS.
“On further analysis, it was discovered that the GSM phone number belongs to one Mr. CHARLES EKPEMEFUMOR aka Charles Parker or Captain Charles Agaba. It was also revealed by the arrested pirates that Charles Parker is the mastermind of the hijack attack on the MT MAXIMUS,” he said.
According to DINFO, the suspect was alleged to be responsible for the leasing of mother ship MT DEJIKUN used for the hijack from one Mr Mustapha Kenny Gani through a third party called Mr Steve Paul.
In view of his involvement in the pirate attack and hijacking of MT MAXIMUS, he said, a letter of invitation was sent to him on April 15, 2016 to enable him come for questioning on the allegation.
Ezekobe said that several attempts have been made to ensure his compliance but all efforts proved abortive.
“Accordingly, Mr Charles Ekpemefumor Alias Charles Parker is hereby declared wanted by the Naval Headquarters in other to unravel the circumstances of the hijack of MT MAXIMUS.
“Therefore, any person who sights him should report immediately to any naval formation, military or security agencies for prompt action,” he urged.