Friday, March 1, 2024

NBA Africa Investor Herbert Wigwe Dies in Helicopter Crash

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In a heart-wrenching turn of events, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and its affiliates are mourning the untimely demise of NBA Africa investor and Access Holding Plc CEO, Herbert Wigwe. The tragic incident occurred on February 9 when the helicopter carrying Wigwe, his wife Doreen Chizoba, and their son Chizi crashed near the Nevada-California border.

A Tragedy Unfolds: The Fatal Helicopter Crash

The helicopter, an Airbus Helicopters EC-130, was en route to Boulder City, Nevada from Palm Springs airport in California when it met with the fatal accident. The crash also claimed the life of Abimola Ogunbanjo, the former group chairman of Nigeria’s stock exchange. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are currently investigating the cause of the crash.

The news of the tragedy has sent shockwaves through the basketball community and the world of finance, with condolences pouring in from all corners. Nigeria’s president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, expressed his deepest sympathies to the families of the victims, describing their passing as an ‘overwhelming tragedy that is shocking beyond comprehension.’

Herbert Wigwe: A Man of Vision and Passion

Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, was a well-known figure in the world of banking and finance. He was instrumental in building Access Bank into a major financial conglomerate with offices across Africa and subsidiaries in France and the UK. Wigwe was also a passionate advocate for education and entrepreneurship, having built a university that focused on nurturing the next generation of African entrepreneurs.

Wigwe’s love for basketball was no secret. He was a key investor in the NBA Africa League, a partnership between the NBA and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) that aims to grow the game of basketball in Africa. Under Wigwe’s leadership, Access Bank supported various sports initiatives, including the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon and youth sports development programs.

Investigations Underway: Unraveling the Cause of the Crash

As investigations into the cause of the crash continue, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has provided further details on the incident. The helicopter was rented from a chartered flight company based out of Burbank. Witness reports suggest that the weather conditions at the time of the accident were challenging, with rain and a wintry mix.

The NTSB said the accident flight was operated by Orbic Air LLC as a part 135 Charter flight. The helicopter was not equipped with a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder. The investigators will be examining various factors, including airworthiness, maintenance, structures of the helicopter, operations, meteorology, and air traffic control. The French aviation accident investigation agency will serve as an accredited representative of the investigation.

As the world grapples with the loss of Herbert Wigwe and the other victims of the crash, their legacies live on. Wigwe’s contributions to the world of finance, education, and sports will not be forgotten. His passion for basketball and his investment in the NBA Africa League have helped to shape the future of the game in Africa, leaving a lasting impact that will continue to be felt for years to come.

The sudden demise of Herbert Wigwe, his family, and Abimola Ogunbanjo in a tragic helicopter crash has left the world in shock. As the investigations continue, the NBA and its affiliates, along with the world of finance and education, mourn the loss of a visionary leader. Wigwe’s love for basketball and his investment in the NBA Africa League will always be remembered, serving as a testament to his passion and commitment to the game.

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