Rain, Wintry weather could be responsible for the crash in the helicopter that claimed the lives of Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, his wife and son, including Abimbola Ogunbanjo, immediate past Chairman, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, the United States authorities has said.
Speaking during a media briefing Saturday (3am Nigerian time, Sunday), a National Transportation Safety Board member, Michael Graham, said officials were on the scene to gather perishable evidence.
Graham said the team was “methodically and systematically reviewing all evidence” and considering all potential factors to determine the probable cause of the crash.
He added that although the information provided was only preliminary, witness reports suggested that a wintry weather condition was among the factors that contributed to the accident.
“The crew consisted of a pilot in command and a safety pilot. The accident flight was operated by Orbic Air LLC as a Part 135 charter flight.
“Witness reports of the weather conditions at the time of the accident suggest rain and a wintry mix.
“The helicopter was not equipped with a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder. This helicopter was not required to be equipped with those types of recording devices,” Graham said.
Asked about more information on the passengers, Graham stated there were no details but added that “any names will be released through the coroner’s office” without specifying a time frame.
He added that the NTSB would look into the chopper’s airworthiness; maintenance and structure of the helicopter, operations, meteorology, and air traffic control.
“Parties to the investigation include the FAA and Orbic Air LLC. As the investigation continues, other parties could be named,” he said.
“The BEA — the French aviation accident investigation agency — will serve as an accredited representative because France is a state of the manufacturer of the Airbus helicopter and the Turbomeca engine.”
Oil theft: Army uncovers 40 illegal oil wells in Rivers
The Nigerian Army has made a startling discovery of over 40 illegal crude oil wells in Rumuekpe community, in the Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The illegal oil wells were discovered on Wednesday during an operation led by the General Officer Commanding, Nigerian Army 6 Division, General Jamal Abdusallam.
Speaking to Journalists shortly after the operation, Major General Abdusallam noted that the wells which are approximately 40 feet deep, represent a new tactic employed by criminals to siphon crude oil from underground reserves.
Major General Abdusallam emphasised the significance of this discovery in the fight against oil theft and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta.
According to him, the perpetrators devised a method of excavating deep into the ground to access crude oil deposits directly. He expressed concern over the danger posed by these activities to both the environment and individuals involved.
Major General Abdussalam also said he will notify relevant authorities and deploy troops to prevent further exploitation of the area.
Several suspects were apprehended at the crime scene and are currently in military custody to enable further investigations.
One suspect, speaking anonymously, admitted that the wells were allegedly owned by various families in the community.
While describing the hazardous process of digging, the suspect highlighted the risks involved, including gas inhalation and suffocation.
The suspect revealed that individuals involved in the operation were paid around N40,000 to excavate a well, emphasizing the communal ownership of the resource and the perilous nature of their endeavors.
Tinubu’s visit: Akinterinwa’s Campaign Organsation accuses Aiyedatiwa of unleashing terror on citizens
The Campaign Organsation of the frontline governorship aspirant in the November gubernatorial election in Ondo State, Adewale Akinterinwa, has accused Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of using suspected political thugs to unleash terror during the visit of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the state on Wednesday.
President Tinubu was in Ondo State where he paid a condolence visit to the family of the late former Governor of the State, Rotimi Akeredolu.
According to statement by the spokesperson of Akinterinwa’s Campaign Organsation, Segun Ajiboye, suspected thugs loyal to the governor unleashed violence on the citizens and destroyed billboards of political opponents of the governor.
It will be recalled that the campaign organisation had on Tuesday accused the governor of preventing All Progressives Congress APC members from accessing the venue of the president’s visit expressed sadness over the return of thuggery to the political space the State.
The campaign organisation said “On Wednesday, February 28, thugs sponsored by the governor of Ondo state, Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa, descended on the peaceful people of the state who had turned out in large number to receive President Bola Tinubu, GCFR, to the sunshine State.
“The thugs, fully loaded in unmarked vehicles, did not in any way hide their devilish intentions, as they went round major streets of Akure, destroying the bill boards of the other gubernatorial aspirants of the All Progressives Congress.
“The thugs fully armed with different types of guns, shot sporadically into the air to create fears in the people. Expectedly, thousands of supporters of the APC who had prepared to receive the president ran helter-skelter for dear lives.
“The ugly incident was coming barely 24 hours after the Wale Akinterinwa Campaign Structure raised the alarm about the dastardly activities by certain element acting for and on behalf of Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa to prevent members of the APC and leaders who are not in his camp to receive Mr President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR during his visit to Akure.
“Today’s action by the thugs acting on the directives of Mr Governor is most undemocratic, disrespectful, unreasonable and disdainful attempt by any Chief executive in the anals of democracy in Nigeria.
“This is a sad reminder of the wicked old days in the politics of our dear state. It marks an avoidable return to the dark days of hooliganism and political bandits in Ondo state.”
Good morning! Here Are Some Major News Headlines In The Newspapers Today: SIM-NIN linkage: NCC rules out extension, telcos bar 12 million lines
1. The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has ruled out an extension of the February 28, 2024, deadline for the linkage of Subscriber Identity Module cards to National Identification Numbers. As a result, telecommunication companies have been directed to bar 12 million lines which have not been linked to the owners’ NINs after the expiration of the deadline.
2. President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, appealed for patience from Nigerians over the current economic hardship in the country, giving the assurance that there was light at the end of the tunnel. The President said he was fully aware and took responsibility for the difficulties Nigerians had been subjected to on account of government policies.
3. The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, on Wednesday, said the importation of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, into Nigeria has reduced by 50 per cent since the withdrawal of subsidy on the commodity.
4. The military Joint Task Force, North-West Operation Hadarin Daji, said on Wednesday that it neutralised scores of bandits and rescued eight kidnapped victims in Zamfara State. The Information Officer of Operation Hadarin Daji, Lt. Col. Suleiman Omale, stated this in a statement on Wednesday in Gusau.
5. The war against illegal oil bunkering and oil theft received a huge boost on Wednesday as troops of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, uncovered over 40 dugout crude oil wells in Rumuekpe community, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State. The troops uncovered the site during a sweep-and-clear operation on the Trans Niger Delta Pipeline.
6. Operatives of the Edo State Police Command have arrested five suspected cultists, Emeka Eke, Chizoba Okolie, Samson Ochonobor, Friday Agbebayo and Julius Eguasa, for engaging in a street fight in Edo State. It was gathered that the suspects, alleged to be members of the Eiye Confraternity, engaged in street fighting at the Ramat Park area over failure to pay monthly dues and attend meetings of Eiye confraternity.
7. Two Binance executives — an American and a British- Pakistani — have been detained on the orders of National Security Adviser, NSA Nuhu Ribadu over alleged involvement in foreign exchange manipulations. It was learnt last night that the Federal Government obtained a Court Warrant to detain the men for 12 days, pending further investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
8. An Executive Order to “significantly reduce the cost of drugs and pharmaceutical products” in the country will soon be signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Health and Social Welfare Minister, Muhammed Pate stated these on Wednesday during the second edition of the Ministerial Press Briefing Series in Abuja.
9. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) apologised yesterday to their subscribers for the service hitches they have experienced for some days. The MNOs, under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, blamed the service disruptions on “severe fibre cuts” by contractors.
10. The Federal Government has allayed the fear of job loss with the implementation of the Oronsaye Report. Speaking at the fourth edition of the Ministerial Press Briefing Series in Abuja on Wednesday, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said the implementation of the report would not lead to retrenchment.
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