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Facts and untruths about 7 alleged properties owned by Herbert Wigwe fact-checked

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Claim: The Late Access Holdings CEO owns Herbert Wigwe University, Gateway Agro Cargo Airport, Alaro City project, Access Bank Hong Kong, Craneburg Construction Company, HOW Foundation, and ARM Pensions.

Verdict: Our findings proved these claims to be Mostly True.

Full Text

Herbert Wigwe was the Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s top banking institutions. Mr Wigwe was among the six people who died on Feb. 9, 2024, after a helicopter crash that took place in California. He was buried on March 9, 2024, alongside his wife and son, who were with him during the crash.

Following his demise, numerous claims have been posted on social media. Notable among them was a YouTube video by Greenlight, spotlighting six uncompleted projects allegedly owned by Mr Wigwe. The YouTuber listed Herbert Wigwe University, Gateway AgroCargo Airport, Alaro City Project, Access Bank Hong Kong, Craneburg Construction Company, HOW Foundation, and ARM Pensions. As of March 9th, the video has garnered over 90 thousand views, 610 likes, and 76 comments.

Several users appreciated the documentary featuring the late Wigwe, with one user, @jerryokpara6757, thanking the uploader for the update. Another user, @Lomienmartins, praised the documentary, describing it as “very good.” Additionally, a commenter commended the late Wigwe for his contributions, stating, “He has done well.”

Verification

Claim 1: Late Herbert Wigwe owns Wigwe University
Verification

DUBAWA conducted a Google keyword search, revealing multiple reports confirming that the institution was founded by the Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe Foundation (HOW Foundation) under the leadership of Mr Wigwe. Situated in his hometown of Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, this private university was set to commence operations in Sept. 2024. As TheCable reported, Wigwe University’s license was one of the 37 licenses granted and issued by the National Universities Commission (NUC) on Friday, June 9, 2023.

Verdict: True. Available information showed that the Late Herbert Wigwe owned Wigwe University.

Claim 2: Late Wigwe owned Gateway AgroCargo Airport
Verification

Reports revealed that the Gateway AgroCargo airport project was initiated in 2007 by the Ogun State government under the leadership of its former governor, Gbenga Daniel. While Wigwe was noted as one of the investors, it remains a government-led endeavour, with other efforts to revive the long-abandoned project spearheaded by the incumbent governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun.

A news report by BusinessDay also confirmed that Mr Wigwe was one of the investors in the project and not the owner. The report quoted the late Wigwe saying: “As a banker, I feel extremely fulfilled to be part of this project, a project by a responsible entity, one in which the leadership is fully aware of the implications to the wider economy. I am talking about employment, development of the facilities, and areas around the airport.”

Verdict: Findings proved that Mr Wigwe did not own the project. The claim is misleading.

Claim 3: Late Wigwe owned the Alaro City Project
Verification

Alaro City, is a developing estate sprawling across more than 2,000 hectares situated in the North West Quadrant of the Lekki Free Zone. Contrary to claims on the video that the Alaro City project was owned by Wigwe, a post on the official website of Alaro City established the initiative to be a partnership between the Lagos State Government and Rendeavour, an estate development agency.

Verdict: The claim is false.

Claim 4: Late Wigwe owned ARM Pension
Verification

ARM Pension Managers Limited is an asset management firm established in 1994. Contrary to the assertion made in the video that the late Wigwe owns the company, it is owned by Dele Alli, as stated on the official X page of the firm.

However, a report by The Punch Newspaper in January 2024 announced that Access Pensions Limited, a subsidiary of Access Holdings, of which the late Wigwe was the CEO, had acquired a majority stake in ARM Pensions.

Verdict: While the claim that the late Wigwe owns ARM Pension is not entirely true, Access Holdings now holds a significant share in ARM Pensions. The claim is Partly True.

Claim 5: HOW Foundation is owned by the Late Wigwe
Verification

HOW Foundation is an acronym for “Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe” Foundation. Its official website shows that it is a non-profit organization founded in 2016 by Mr Wigwe and headquartered in Lagos.

Verdict: The claim is TRUE.

Claim 6: Late Wigwe owned Access Bank Hong Kong
Verification

The Late Wigwe and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhede co-founded Access Holdings. Access Bank is one of the subsidiaries of Access Holdings.

Access Bank recently announced it had received approval to commence operations in Hong Kong. In a statement published on its website, Mr Wigwe expressed his pride and excitement at this achievement. He said: “I am immensely proud that Access UK has secured approval to commence formal banking operations in Hong Kong, marking a monumental achievement in our journey towards global prominence.”

Verdict: The claim is True.

Claim 7: Wigwe owns Craneburg Construction Company
Verification

A former managing director of Arise TV and editor at THISDAY newspaper, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, in a tribute to the late Chizoba Wigwe, the wife of Mr Wigwe, confirmed that Craneburg Construction Company belonged to her and not her husband.

Nwogwugwu was quoted in the tribute as saying, “Just a few of us knew that Craneburg Construction Company was your baby. You would regale me with stories about the size of the contracts your company was taking on. I was amazed at your trips all over the country, executing and monitoring road, infrastructure, and building projects.”

Verdict: The claim is misleading.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame KariKari Fellowship, in partnership with Crest 91.1FM, Ibadan, and News Verifier Africa, to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

 

Source: dubawa.org

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