Helicopter crash killing top Nigerian CEO possibly linked to bad weather

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Authorities investigating the helicopter incident that led to the tragic loss of Nigerian banker Herbert Wigwe mentioned that the conditions during the accident on Friday night “indicated the presence of rain and wintry mix.”

  • Fatal plane crash involving Nigerian banker likely due to adverse weather.
  • While a preliminary report on the crash should be available in a few weeks, the full NTSB investigation could take 12 to 24 months.
  • Wigwe’s death has sparked an outpouring of grief from the African business community.

Hebert, 57, his wife Dame Chizoba Wigwe, their senior son, and a close friend, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, were among the people killed when the aircraft came down in Niption, California.

Witness reports of the weather conditions at the time of the accident suggest rain and a wintry mix,” said Michael Graham, board member of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting an investigation.

“The helicopter was not equipped with a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder,” he said at a media briefing Saturday in Barstow, California, adding that the type of aircraft wasn’t required to have those types of recording devices aboard.

According to ThisDay, the manifest of passengers on the helicopter has shown that Wigwe’s assistant, 49-year-old Faleye Olushola John pulled out at the last minute to travel by road with their luggage. He reportedly declined to board the ill-fated flight insisting that he would not travel by helicopter at night due to the weather conditions.

While a preliminary report on the crash should be available in a few weeks, the full NTSB investigation could take 12 to 24 months.

READ ALSO  Hebert Wigwe: Africa mourns Access Bank Group CEO killed in helicopter crash in California

Legacy of excellence

Hebert, the co-founder of Nigeria’s biggest bank by assets, started his professional career with Coopers & Lybrand Associates, an international firm of Chartered Accountants. He spent over 10 years at Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, managing several portfolios, including financial institutions, large corporates and multinationals.

The banking executive told Bloomberg News in November that he was bankrolling a $500 million university outside the southern city of Port Harcourt to help students hone the skills needed for the finance and technology industries in Africa’s most populous nation.

Wigwe’s death has sparked an outpouring of grief from the African business community. Tributes from entrepreneurs, business leaders and colleagues have been pouring in, with many expressing shock at his sudden death.

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