Preliminary information flowing from ongoing investigations into the helicopter crash that killed Dr Herbert Wigwe, CFR, the founding group chief executive officer of Access Holdings, his wife, Doreen, and their son, Chizi, points to the fact that rainy weather contributed greatly to the tragic accident.
Asaase News sources at Access Holdings show that Dr Wigwe, his wife, son and some other people flew to the United States from Nigeria to watch the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
However, the Vegas airport was already too crowded, with many private planes coming in from around the United States, so they had to land in Palm Springs, California because his private jet could not get a landing permit in Las Vegas.
Because the distance from Palm Springs, where they landed, to the venue for the Super Bowl was about a two-and-a-half-hour drive, Herbert Wigwe decided to use a helicopter despite the terrible rainy weather prevailing at the time – which resulted in the tragic incident.
In a statement issued by Access Holdings and signed by Sunday Ekwochi, the group company secretary, confirming the tragic incident, the organisation noted: “It is with deep sadness that the board of directors of Access Holdings plc announces the passing of Dr Herbert Wigwe, CFR, the company’s founding group chief executive officer and former group managing director of its flagship subsidiary Access Bank plc.
“Dr Wigwe died alongside his wife and son on Friday, 9 February 2024, in a helicopter accident in the United States of America. The entire Access Family mourns the loss of Herbert, Doreen and Chizi.
“We extend our deep and sincere sympathies to his family and loved ones. Dr Wigwe was a key driving force and a larger-than-life personality who brought his remarkable passion, energy and experience to the transformation of the Access franchise since joining the bank in 2002,” the Access Holdings statement read.
Commenting on the passage of Dr Wigwe, Abubakar Jimoh, the chairman of Access Holdings, said: “The Access Family has suffered a major loss with the passing of Dr Wigwe, who was a great friend and fine gentleman.
“He had a prodigious intellect, admirable personal qualities and vast business experience which he brought to bear on the Access Family and for which we owe him a debt of gratitude.
“In line with the company’s policy, the board will soon announce the appointment of an acting group chief executive officer even as we remain confident that the Access Group will build further on Dr Wigwe’s legacy of growth and operational excellence,” the statement from Access Holdings further said.
Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra
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