Tragic Loss of Nigerian Bank CEO and Family in California Helicopter Crash

February 11, 2024 - Reading time: ~1 minute

Herbert Wigwe, the chief executive of Nigeria’s largest bank, Access Bank, was among six people on board when a helicopter he was riding in crashed near Interstate 15 in Southern California’s Mojave Desert.

Also killed were Bamofin Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former chair of NGX Group, the Nigerian stock exchange, and his family members. Their deaths were confirmed by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Nigerian finance minister who is now the director-general of the World Trade Organization.

Wigwe was widely respected in Nigeria and the banking sector for his leadership at Access Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank. Under Wigwe’s guidance, Access Bank expanded its assets and presence across Africa. His private university, set to open in September, was a project he saw as an opportunity to give back to society.

The crash occurred east of I-15 near Halloran Springs Road, close to the California-Nevada border. The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that a Eurocopter EC 120 helicopter with six people aboard was involved in the accident. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

DW Staff

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