The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) says it is collaborating with its United States counterpart, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to intensify investigation on the helicopter that caused the death of Herbert Wigwe and five others.
The Public Affairs and Consumer Protection of the NSIB, Mrs Bimbo Oladeji, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
Wigwe, who until his death was the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, his wife, son, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbajo and some others were onboard the ill-fated Airbus Helicopter EC130B4 helicopter.
She said that in the aftermath of the accident, the Director General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau, Captain Alex Badeh established contact with NTSB, in accordance with Chapter 5 subsection 27 of ICAO’s Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, which grants a State (nation) special interest in an accident involving its citizens.
Following the helicopter crash which occurred on Friday, February 9, 2024, at about 10:08 PM. (Pacific Standard Time) near Interstate 15 in Halloran Springs, California, the NTSB confirmed the accident via its post on X and stated that it had dispatched its “Go Team” to investigate the accident.
The ill-fated helicopter, operated by Orbic Air, LLC as a Part 135 charter flight, departed from Palm Springs, California, at 8:45 p.m. PST, en route to Boulder City, Nevada, said Michael Graham, a board member of the National Transportation Safety Board, during a news conference on Saturday.
“Regrettably, the United States authorities have now confirmed that everyone onboard the aircraft lost their lives in the crash.
“The deceased are two crew members comprising a pilot in command and a “safety pilot” and four passengers namely Dr Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son, and Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, (NGX Group),
“In the aftermath of the accident, the Director General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau, Captain Alex Badeh established contact with NTSB, in accordance with Chapter 5 subsection 27 of ICAO’s Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, which grants a State (nation) special interest in an accident involving its citizens.
Chapter 5 subsection 27 of ICAO’s Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation-Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation states: “5.27 A State which has a particular interest in an accident by fatalities or severe injuries to its citizens shall be entitled to appoint an expert who shall be entitled to.
“Visit the scene of the accident; have access to the relevant information which is approved for public release by the state conducting the investigation, and information on the progress of the investigation; and receive a copy of the final report.”
According to the statement, the ICAO’s Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil, therefore, granted Nigeria, through the NSIB, the prerogative to appoint an expert to actively participate in the investigation.
The further reads, “The ongoing discussion between the NSIB and NTSB has highlighted the diligent investigation efforts of the NTSB. NTSB investigators were present at the crash scene in Halloran Springs, California, on Saturday to collect evidence and conduct initial on-scene documentation. The documentation process included aerial mapping of the wreckage with a drone, and site measurements.
“Correspondence between the NSIB and NTSB further revealed that the NTSB investigation into the crash is being led by Aaron Sauer as the investigator in charge, supported by Mark Ward as the deputy investigator in charge. Several other NTSB investigators will also be examining various aspects of the accident including airworthiness and maintenance structures, operations, meteorology and air traffic control.
“Notably, the airworthiness investigation group initiated a meticulous examination of the debris field, which spans approximately 100 yards. All significant components of the helicopter, including the main transmission, engine, and various avionic elements, were identified and accounted for at the accident site. In tandem, the operations investigation group has commenced gathering crucial company information, including pilot records, flight dispatch records, and aircraft maintenance records.
“Moving forward, coordination is underway by the NTSB to transfer the wreckage to a secure location on Tuesday for in-depth examination and analysis scheduled
“Parties to the investigation include Orbic Air, LLC, and the FAA. As the investigation continues, other parties could be named. Additionally, the Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA), the French aviation accident investigation agency, will also serve as an accredited representative, due to France being the state of manufacturer for the Airbus helicopter and Turbomeca Engine. Both Airbus Helicopters and Turbomeca Engines will serve as technical advisors to the investigation.
“The duration of the accident investigation being conducted by NTSB is expected to take approximately 18 to 24 months to complete. The actual duration depends on many factors. Each investigator carries a caseload of many accident investigations which they work on concurrently and each investigation presents its unique complexities.
“The NTSB accident investigation process typically comprises three major milestones. The first is the preliminary investigation report, which contains information gathered by investigators during the on-scene examination. This report is expected to be released within 14 to 21 days following the date of the examinations. The next milestone involves the compilation of the public docket, which includes a collection of information gathered throughout the investigation.
“This typically includes photographs, interview summaries, documentation, and other relevant data. Finally, the third milestone is the publication of the final aviation accident report, which serves to conclude the investigation. This report may take up to two years to complete and usually contains analysis and a statement of the probable cause of the accident, if determined.
“The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau reaffirms its commitment to collaborate fully with the National Transportation Safety Board, aiming for a thorough and conclusive investigation that will enhance transport safety in both Nigeria and the United States.
“The Airbus Helicopter EC130B4 crash has brought a colossal loss to our dear nation Nigeria. Our hearts go out to the Wigwe and Ogunbanjo families and loved ones affected by this tragedy. We extend our deepest sympathies to them during this difficult time.
“Updates on the investigation will be provided as information becomes available.”
Hardship: Naira Is Stabilising, FG’s Reforms Yielding Positive Results – Information Minister
…Insists FG Will Go After Saboteurs
Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, says the Nigerian Government is identifying and sanctioning individuals sabotaging the economy.
The minister noted that the removal of the petrol subsidy was one policy decision that all the three major candidates agreed on in their campaign messages.
He said it was mystifying to see people who had argued stridently for the removal of subsidy now pretending to be against it, noting that such insincerity does not bode well for the country.
Idris insisted that the President’s policies are yielding positive results.
He, however, said that the government was not under any illusion that the policies are silver bullets, or that nothing else is required.
Stressing that the government will not allow its efforts to be jeopardised, the minister said regulatory and enforcement agencies have been working round the clock in the past few days to identify, investigate and sanction those involved in illegal activities and sabotage within the forex market.
“As respected economists and experts have acknowledged, these foundational reforms will be difficult and painful for Nigerians in the short-term,” the Minister said in a statement he signed and made available to journalists in Abuja on Friday.
“The problems that we are solving are no doubt multifaceted, intertwined, and deep-rooted, requiring creative, strategic, decisive, and multi-pronged solutions. These bold moves being implemented are in full alignment with what is required.
“It is heartwarming to note that we are starting to see the results. Indeed, the naira is stabilizing, and the foreign exchange market is seeing a surge of inflows.
“Sadly, as with any effort to reform and sanitise a system entrenched in long-term malpractice, the CBN’s efforts have been met with ferocious resistance from speculators and other unscrupulous players within and outside our country, who profit from dysfunction and opacity.
“To tackle this, regulatory and enforcement agencies of government have been working round the clock in the past few days, joining forces to address these efforts at undermining the reforms.
“That strategic alliance has led to the intelligence-led identification, investigation and sanctioning of individuals and organizations involved in illegal activities and sabotage within the forex market.
“Relevant regulatory and security agencies have been directed to remain vigilant to ensure that malpractices capable of undermining our currency are averted and that those engaged in these acts are brought to book. The government will not allow its efforts to be jeopardised
BREAKING: INEC Publishes Report Of 2023 General Election
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has released its report on the 2023 general election.
The commission said the publication of the report is in keeping with its tradition over the last four electoral cycles and commitment to transparency.
This was made known in a statement by Sam Olumekun, the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.
Olumekun said the Report showcases the election’s unparalleled diversity in party representation, demonstrating significant democratic progress.
According to him, the 2023 general election saw four political parties winning gubernatorial races, seven parties winning senatorial seats, eight in federal constituencies and nine in State legislatures, illustrating a broad shift in political representation across Nigeria.
He said the document has been made accessible on its website and social media platforms.
“On Thursday, 22nd February 2024, the Commission convened for its weekly meeting, where the 2023 General Election Report was reviewed and approved for publication.
It partly read: “In keeping with our tradition over the last four electoral cycles, and our commitment to transparency, we are pleased to announce the release of the official INEC report on the 2023 General Election.
“This comprehensive 526-page document, structured into 13 chapters and enhanced with 60 tables, 14 boxes and 10 graphs, offers an in-depth analysis of the election’s key processes, achievements, and challenges, alongside valuable lessons learned.
“The Report showcases the election’s unparalleled diversity in party representation, demonstrating significant democratic progress. This election saw four political parties winning gubernatorial races, seven parties winning senatorial seats, eight in federal constituencies and nine in State legislatures, illustrating a broad shift in political representation across Nigeria.
“The Report underscores the pivotal role of technological advancements, particularly the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), in enhancing electoral integrity and reducing fraud. Furthermore, it addresses public concerns about the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal, explaining the technical issues encountered during the upload of polling unit results for the presidential election.
JUST IN: Okpebholo Declared Winner Of Edo APC Gov’ship Primary
Senator Monday Okpebholo has been declared winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election for the September 2024 governorship election in Edo State.
Okpebholo scored 12, 433 votes to emerge winner.
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