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Political, corporate titans pay tributes to Wigwe




Corporate Nigeria and some political titans turned up yesterday to celebrate the life and times of the late Chief Executive Officer of Access Corporation Plc, Herbert Wigwe who all of them described as a titan.


In an emotion laden ‘Night of Tributes’ with touching memories, dignitaries from the public and private sectors, led by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, governors of Lagos and Ogun states, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN governor and bank chief executives sang praises of the late bank chief.


Wigwe, 57 years old, who was also MD/CEO Access Bank Plc, died in a helicopter crash in United States on February 9, 2024, alongside his wife, Chizoba Wigwe, his Son, Chizi Wigwe amd former President, Nigeria Exchange, Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo.


Other dignitaries at the event include President, African Development Bank, AfDB, Adesina Akinwunmi, Chairman Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, Chairman Coronation Capital, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO, GTHoldings Plc, Segun Agbaje, CEO of FirstBank Nigeria Limited, Adesola Adedutan and the President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, Mr. Ken Okpara.

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In his tribute, Dangote descibed the late Herbert Wigwe as a loyal friend and a pillar of support for him and his family.

Fighting to hold back tears, Dangote narrated how late Herbert encouraged him in his business pursuits.


Dangote described the late Herbert as a visionary role model with courage second to none.


“I am proud to name him my devoted friend, mentee and supporter. I will forever cherish the warmth of his friendship,” Dangote said.

Dangote also disclosed plans to immotalise the late banker by naming the road to the Dangote Refinery as Herbert Wigwe road.

AfDB President, Adesina Akinwunmi, in his tribute said: ‘’Herbert Wigwe brought pride to Nigeria and to Africa.


“He was relentless, determined, bold, visionary, inspiring, with exceptional drive for excellence. Everything he touched became gold


“Herbert is a bankers banker, and investors asset holder. His drive for major achievements sparks courage. Herbert was bankable and Access Bank was bankable.”

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The chairman, Coronation Capital, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, described Herbert Wigwe as a brilliant banker who help to transform the banking industry in Nigeria.


Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, described late Herbert as a pillar of support who was full of knowledge, ideas and creative thinking.

“He gave me his time and thinking. He had solutions, never at a loss,” said Edun.


Governor, Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu, paid glowing tributes to the leadership qualities of late Herbert Wigwe, especially in rallying support to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Herbert led from the front during the difficult period of COVID 19.

Describing the late banker as a brother, friend adviser, who supported the infrastructure drive of his administration, Sanwo Olu said Lagos would not forget Herbert Wigwe.


Ogun State governor on his part, praised the late Herbert for his commitment to Nigeria

“Herbert believed in Nigeria. He did everything to support Nigeria. He was intelligent, bold and lived two lifetimes in one.”

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso described late Herbert Wigwe as a trully exceptional individual who played a pivotal role in transforming Access Bank into one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions.

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The Group Chief Executive Officer of GT Holdings, Mr Segun Agbaje, in his tribute, said he spoke with the late Herbert two weeks before he died, just as he described him (Herbert) as a fierce competiton.


Agbaje said: “It is indeed a very difficult for me. Herbert was my colleague, friend, competitor and brother. Only Herbert could have been all those things to a human being.

‘’We started as colleagues. I met Herbert in November 1991, we were both in the corporate bank. And then, as we all matured, Herbert became my real brother.

‘’He would alweays make the phone call to get you out of the spot you were in. It is weird that my last conversation with him was two weeks before he died.

He came to my house to talk about his obsession which was his university.”

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Kano anti-graft agency files fresh charges against Ganduje





The Kano state anti-corruption and public complaints commission says it has brought fresh charges against Abdullahi Ganduje, national chair of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Appearing on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Tuesday, Muhuyi Magaji, chair of the anti-graft agency, said the commission is investigating a case where N51 billion was allegedly diverted by the Ganduje administration.

Ganduje was governor of Kano from 2015 to 2023.


Magaji said during the twilight of the Ganduje administration, N1 billion was withdrawn from the state’s accounts for rehabilitation of roads, but that the sum was allegedly diverted.


“What is happening now is a tip of the iceberg,” he said.


“As I am talking to you, we are investigating a case whereby N51.3 billion local government funds were directly taken from the government coffers (and) sent to other individuals, and we traced it to people.


“We have piled a series of cases. We have a case whereby N1 billion in April last year (2023) was removed from government coffers under the allocation of renovating 30 roads in the metropolis and it was taken away, sent to Bureau de Change.

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“We have a case of N4 billion whereby it was sent from the consolidated revenue account of Kano state to an agricultural company. All these cases are before the court.”


The chair said the commission is not driven by politics and is dedicated to the fight against corruption.


“Incidentally, His Excellency, the former governor, was the one that appointed me in 2015 to head the agency and I was re-appointed in 2020 for another five-year term,” he said.


“Basically, we have an institution in the Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) that is devoid of political activities and dedicated to fight corruption, check maladministration and fight injustice.”

It was learnt that a formal invitation will be extended to the former governor.


On Monday, executives in Ganduje’s APC ward in Kano suspended the former governor from the party over corruption allegations.


Soon after, however, the APC in Kano nullified the suspension and handed the executives behind the move a six-month suspension from the party.

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Testimony controversy: After backlash, Enenche apologises, meets Abuja testifier





The woman who was accused of lying while giving testimony at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Abuja, Vera Anyim, has said she bears no grudge against the church.


This followed the controversy that trailed the treatment that was meted out to her by the church’s Senior Pastor, Dr Paul Enenche, on Sunday.


In a video that emerged online, Anyim, during her testimony in the church, said she graduated with a “Bsc in Law” from the National Open University of Nigeria.


She was however interrupted by Enenche who said she was lying. The pastor also questioned the credibility of the woman’s testimony while he chided her on how she spoke.

Enenche who said there was nothing like “Bsc in Law” immediately asked her to leave the pulpit.


The action however generated a flurry of reactions as netizens demanded an apology from the cleric.


But Anyim, in a post on her Facebook page on Monday, said she had put the situation behind her.


She made the statement after meeting Enenche and his wife, Becky.

Sharing photos from the meeting, she wrote, “I want to inform the whole world that I just had a warm meeting with my spiritual father and mother, Dr Paul Enenche, and Dr Becky Enenche.


“I don’t have any grudge against the church or them. I remain committed to serving God as a member of Dunamis Church.

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“I am thankful for the concern of the public.


“I have put the situation at my back, and I have moved forward, and I want everybody to do the same. Peace.”


The church in a statement on Monday said it reached out to Anyim over the issue, while it explained that concerns arose during her testimony at the Glory Dome on April 14, 2024, regarding her language proficiency and the clarity of her academic credentials.


It stated that her speech suggested a level of English proficiency below what might be expected of a university graduate, particularly one with a Law degree, while noting that discrepancies also emerged regarding the nature and duration of her academic pursuit, raising doubts about the legitimacy of her qualifications.


The statement added that the Senior Pastor’s actions stemmed from a commitment to upholding standards of excellence and integrity within the church community.


The statement read, “A scenario was created on Sunday the 14th April, 2024 at the Glory Dome, the Global Headquarters of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, when Ms Anyim Veronica Nnenna came out to testify of how God helped her graduate from the university, thus making her the first person to attain that feat in her family.


“These were the immediate triggers for the said scenario: First, listening to the testifier’s expressions as it borders on basic spoken English, conveys the impression that the minimum standard expectation of a graduate, especially a graduate of Law was not met.

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“Second, stating that she studied Law for 10 years begged the question of what her degree actually was.


“Third, she was unable to state exactly what the correct degree was for Law which is LLB, rather she said it was a BSc in Law which is largely unknown as a Law degree in Nigeria and possibly globally.


“These prompted the Senior Pastor. Dr. Paul Enenche, to stop the testimony immediately as a product of a ‘lie.’ However, relief came when it was later confirmed that she actually graduated from a university.


“It must be pointed out clearly here that embarrassing the testifier publicly with the attendant media frenzy was never intended; whatever happened was under the spur of the moment.”


The church disclosed further that the Senior Pastor was rather based on his and the church’s aversion to seeming mediocrity and any appearance of untruth.


“While we remain resolute in our passion for excellence, intolerance of mediocrity and falsehood, we wish to reiterate the fact that no harm or hurt was ever intended by the Senior Pastor against Ms. Anyim Veronica. The Senior Pastor feels deeply concerned and had already reached out to her.

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“As a commission, we regret every inconvenience, hurt, and embarrassment this unfortunate scenario has caused to Ms Anyim Veronica Nnenna. We remain committed to her physical welfare as well as her spiritual growth. God bless us all,” the statement added.


Some photos confirming that the woman graduated from NOUN were discovered on her Facebook page and shared online.


Reacting earlier to the treatment meted out to her, Vera lamented that she was disgraced and labelled a liar by her spiritual leader because she couldn’t speak English and mistakenly said B.Sc instead of LLB.


In a post on her Facebook page on Monday, she stated that she graduated with a 3rd class from NOUN and was no. 2262 on the list of graduates from the school.

She wrote: “It’s disheartened because I couldn’t speak English like lawyers. I was labelled a liar for mistakenly saying B.Sc instead of LLB. Actually, I graduated with a Third Class at NOUN. The rejected stone can become the cornerstone. We’re reminded not to look down on anyone.


“You can’t imagine what I endured throughout the service. How shattered I must have felt to be disgraced by my spiritual leader in such a manner? I am no. 2262 on the list. I, Vera, deserve better now.

“The Devil came to steal my testimony but Jesus said NO!,” she stated in a separate post.

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Sack non-performing appointees, review your policies, El-Rufai tells Tinubu





Former governor of Kaduna, Nasir el-Rufai, says President Bola Tinubu should sack appointees in his cabinet who do not deliver on their mandate.


El-Rufai, who spoke in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, on Monday, urged Tinubu to look into the possibility of adjusting some of his policies that are not yielding expected results.


“You appointed a person into a position and he is not working according to the expectation, you should have the humility to tell him that I need a better person, go and do something else,” NAN quoted him as saying.


The former governor urged Nigerians to pray and assist the administration in its efforts to make things better.


“What we must do as citizens is to pray for our leaders for God to guide them to see or do what is right,” he said.


“For God to give them the humility to reverse themselves when necessary and do the right thing; that’s how society progresses.”

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