“How Luggage Issues Prevented Me From Taking Ill-Fated Flight” — Wigwe’s PA, Simon Faleye

Simon Faleye, the Personal Assistant to the late Group Managing Director and CEO of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, has recounted how he missed being on the helicopter that killed his boss, wife, son and business associate, Abimbola Ogunbajo.

Faleye spoke while mourning and eulogising Wigwe at the Night of Tributes on Wednesday night.

According to him, he said he was supposed to fly in the chopper but later decided to accompany their luggage by road since the chopper could not carry it.

He said he got the nod of Wigwe who applauded the idea as a brilliant one.

Afterwards, he headed to Vegas by road with the luggage while Wigwe, his wife, son and Mr Ogunbajo boarded the chopper to the same destination.

While on his way to Vegas, Faleye tried calling his boss and the others on the chopper, but none of the calls pulled through.

“Five of us embarked on that journey. I remember Mr Bimbo chatted me and said he wants to come with us, it was a Tuesday. And I told him my boss journey is not always straightforward. Sometimes, you can get in the air and divert somewhere else, and he said he was going to wait.

“I said he was still going to Abuja that day, and maybe he’ll be leaving later in the midnight and he said he was going to wait.

“I still tried to let him understand that we will be in London Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, he said he will stay in his house and wait. I really don’t know why I was trying to convince him not, I don’t know, and we all went on the journey.

“We flew from London to Palm Springs. I remember, in the middle of the air, I walked up to him. I said sir, how comfortable are you flying chopper at night? I’ve never done it before. And he said a word, he said, This is America, they have navigation systems for flying chopper at night, and I went back to my seat.”

“As they were loading the luggages, this thought started playing in my mind that, okay, you will fly chopper, one hour you are there. The next three and a half hours, the luggages are not going to come. Will I go to bed, no. I still have to sit down and wait for thise luggages to come. I was like so, why not just go with the luggages and get there and deliver to him and others in the room. Like I said, I always reason in the line of duty. And I went up to him, I said, sir, I think its safer and will be secure for me to just ride and bring the luggage to you. He said, brilliant idea, and I said safe flight.”

Culled from Vanguard