Super Bowl Trip Turns Fatal for Access Bank Founder, Wife, Son, NGX Group Ex-Chairman in Us

The founder and chairman of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son and the former group chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), Abimbola Ogunbanjo, have died in a helicopter crash in the United States on Friday night.

The tragic incident occurred near the border of Nevada and California, where Wigwe and his entourage were headed to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl, according to sources.

The US authorities who confirmed that there were no survivors from the crash identified the helicopter as a Eurocopter EC 130

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said “We were made aware of a downed aircraft at approximately 10:12 p.m. on February 10, 2024. The scene of the crash was determined to be east of the 15- Freeway, near Halloran Springs Road,”

Among the victims were Wigwe’s wife and son, as well as the former group chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), Abimbola Ogunbanjo, a leading operator of financial markets in Africa.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the cause of the accident.

Wigwe was a prominent and respected figure in the Nigerian banking sector, having founded Access Bank in 1989 and transformed it into one of the largest and most profitable banks in the country, with over 600 branches and 28,000 employees.

He was also the CEO of Access Holdings, a diversified conglomerate with interests in oil and gas, power, agriculture, health, and education.

Wigwe was known for his philanthropy and social responsibility, having donated millions of naira to various causes, such as education, health, sports, and environmental protection.

He was awarded the National Honor of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in 2011, and the African Banker of the Year in 2016.

The news of his death has shocked and saddened many Nigerians, who have taken to social media to express their condolences and pay tribute to his legacy.

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