The Nigerian Navy has declared Charles Ekpemefumor wanted for allegedly masterminding a recent pirate attack and hijacking of a vessel and its crew, MT Maximus.
A statement on Thursday by Nigerian Navy spokesman Air Commodore Christian Ezekobe said the vessel with 18 crew members, carrying 4,368.203MT of Gas Oil was hijacked on 11th February 2016 by a group of suspected pirates off Cote d’Ivoire waters.
He said the Nigerian Navy rescued the vessel on 19th February 2016 within Sao Tome waters 320 nautical miles (nm) off the Nigerian coast.
Ezekobe said 6 pirates were arrested, while one of them was killed and some items were recovered from the pirates including weapons and mobile telephones.
He stated that ongoing investigation revealed that the pirates received phone calls from a particular telephone number traced to the wanted suspect.
Ezekobe added that: “on further analysis, it was discovered that the GSM phone number belongs to one 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.
Ekpemefumor was also alleged to be responsible for the leasing of mother ship MT Dejikun used for the hijack from one Mustapha Kenny Gani through a third party Steve Paul.
Ezekobe said a letter of invitation was sent to him on 15th April to enable him come for questioning on the allegation, including several attempts made to ensure his compliance proved abortive.
He said: “Accordingly, 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,” the Nigerian Navy stated.