Several prominent Nigerians have tragically lost their lives in helicopter crashes over the years. These incidents have occurred both within Nigerian airspace and internationally.
The most recent event, on February 9, 2024, involved the passing of prominent banker Herbert Wigwe, the group chief executive officer of Access Holding.
As the country continues to mourn the tragic loss of Wigwe, BusinessDay looks at prominent Nigerians who lost their lives in helicopter crashes.
December 15, 2012, witnessed the crash of a helicopter transporting the then-governor of Kaduna State, Yakowa, from Bayelsa State to Port Harcourt.
The incident occurred during the governor’s return from a funeral in Bayelsa, accompanied by Owoye Andrew Azazi, the former national security adviser.
Yakowa, the first person from Southern Kaduna and the first Christian to govern the state, lost his life in the crash.
Azazi, who served as the National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, was also on the ill-fated helicopter on December 15, 2012.
Prior to this role, Azazi had notable positions as the Chief of Army Staff and later as the Chief of Defence Staff. His retirement from military service was announced by President Umaru Yar’Adua on August 20, 2008.
Wigwe, the group chief executive officer (CEO) of Access Holdings, met a tragic end alongside his wife, Chizoba, and son, Chizi. They were on board a Eurocopter EC 130 chopper that crashed near Nipton, a city between Nevada and California in the US.
A former group chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, and two other persons were also on the aircraft that met a tragic end.