During the night of tributes, Herbert Wigwe’s personal assistant, Sola Faleye, broke down in tears as he voiced his apprehension about flying helicopters at night

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Herbert Wigwe

Sola Faleye, the personal assistant to the late group chief executive officer of Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe, shared a poignant account of his final moments with his boss during a touching tribute held at Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos on Wednesday.

Recalling a fateful flight from London, UK to Palm Springs, California, US, Faleye recounted how he expressed concern to Wigwe about flying in a helicopter at night. In response, Wigwe reassured him, stating, “This is America. They have navigation systems for flying helicopters at night.”

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Faleye revealed that he was initially scheduled to fly with Wigwe in the ill-fated helicopter from Palm Springs to Las Vegas. However, he ultimately decided to accompany their luggage by road due to lack of space in the aircraft. Wigwe, appreciating Faleye’s decision, applauded it as a brilliant idea.

Reflecting on their close bond, Faleye emphasized, “Since 2019, I cannot count the flights he took that I wasn’t in. We were always together.”

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As Faleye continued his journey by road, he couldn’t shake off a sense of unease. At precisely 10:09 pm, moments after the expected landing time of the helicopter, a feeling of foreboding gripped him. Unable to reach Wigwe, his wife, son, or businessman Abimbola Ogunbajo, Faleye grew increasingly anxious.

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“I called the driver that was to pick us on landing from the chopper. And he said, ’30 minutes ago, he couldn’t see them on the radar anymore,'” Faleye recounted, his voice heavy with emotion.

The tragic incident, which claimed the lives of Wigwe, his wife Chizoba, son Chizi, and Abimbola Ogunbajo, left Faleye and many others devastated, mourning the loss of a beloved leader and friend.

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