The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of Nigeria’s largest banks, his wife and son have died after a helicopter crashed in the Mohavi Desert in Southern California.
The helicopter crashed at 10pm on Friday and Access Bank CEO Herbert Wigwe, 57, was among the six people on board. Former chairman of the Nigerian Stock Exchange ‘NGX Group’, Bamofin Abimbola Ogunbanjo, was also killed in the accident.
Nigeria’s former Finance Minister Ngozi Akonjo-Iweala has confirmed these deaths. Iweala is now the Director General of the World Trade Organisation. “Deeply saddened by the news of the death of Herbert Wigwe, his wife and son as well as Ogunbanjo in a helicopter crash,” he said in a post on social media platform X.
Wigwe’s death has caused a wave of mourning in Nigeria and the banking sector. It was under Wigwe’s leadership that Access Bank’s assets and presence grew in many African countries. “Wigwe had the vision to make Access Holdings (the parent company) the biggest company in Africa,” Nigerian presidential spokesman Bio Onanuga said on ‘X’.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that the helicopter ‘Eurocopter EC 120’ was carrying six people. He took off from Palm Springs Airport at around 8:45 pm and was headed to Boulder City, Nevada.
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