Helicopter crash kills 6, including major bank CEO

NIPTON, CA – Among the victims of a fatal helicopter crash that occurred in California’s Mojave Desert on Friday night is Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Bank Group, one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions. The confirmation of Wigwe’s death was announced by several Nigerian officials on social media, including World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Another notable personality who died in the crash was Abimbola Ogunbanjo, a past Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group. In addition, Godwin Obaseki, a noted Nigerian politician, reported that Wigwe’s wife and son were also among the victims of the crash.

The ill-fated helicopter was traveling from Palm Springs Airport to Boulder City, Nevada, near Las Vegas. It crashed around 10 p.m. local time in the vicinity of Nipton, California, close to the California-Nevada border. At the time of the incident, weather reports indicated rain and snow conditions in the area.

Various US agencies including the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are jointly conducting an investigation to ascertain the circumstances leading to this crash.

Expressing his disbelief and sorrow on losing Wigwe, Obaseki, who is also the Governor of Edo State, issued a statement describing it as “painful and heart-wrenching.” He acknowledged Wigwe’s significant contributions in advancing Nigeria’s financial sector.

Obaseki extended his condolences to the Wigwe and Ogunbanjo families, Access Bank Holding, the Nigeria Stock Exchange, and their friends and associates.