On Wednesday, 13 July, 2016 the banking industry in Sierra Leone converged at Zenith Bank, Rawdon Street in Freetown, to mourn the death of Executive Director, Mr. Ekpenisi Igumbor, who passed away on Saturday, 9 July.
A book of condolence was opened at the bank’s head office, where all the banking executives, including Central Bank Governor, Dr Kaifala Marah, former Governor, Dr Sabbadeen Sesay, erstwhile Attorney General, Frank Kargbo, other senior officials at Bank of Sierra Leone, and all managing directors of commercial banks were in attendance.
Mercury International, Awoko Newspaper, Sierra Leone State Lottery, Arik Airlines and other institutions were all called upon to sign the book of condolence, who had worked with all of these institutions.
An official of Zenith Bank, Derek Boltman, described the late Mr Ekpenisi Igumbor as a fine gentleman who left behind a beautiful wife and three children.
He said the former Executive Director joined Zenith bank in 1998 and was sent to Sierra Leone in 2011. “Because of his exemplary performance, he was promoted to the position of Executive Director on the 29th September, 2015 after Bank of Sierra Leone’s approval,” said Boltman.
Mr Boltman said the departed bank executive was a man who loved his job and nurtured a very good working relationship with staff and customers alike. He averred that even when he punished a staff, he would still console them because he believed that good human relationship produces quality and excellence.
“He always shared his experiences and always was ready to learn from other staff as he too is ready to help when ever called upon. We will miss him and we believe he is now in the bosom of Jesus Christ,” he said.
Another senior official of Zenith Bank, Adewumi Olaye, explained that he was informed early on Saturday morning that the late Ekpenisi Igumbor was seriously sick.
“By the time I arrived I met my elder stone dead. It took me five minutes to catch my breath before I called our Managing Director (MD) Mr George Meze that he must leave everything he was doing and come immediately,” said Mr Olaye, who added that he performed all kinds of first aid on the deceased as he was still not convinced he was dead.
On the arrival of the MD, they knew they have lost a very good and hard working official, a friend and brother who had helped the bank reach its current level.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, George N. Meze, thanked the top banking executives who had gone to pay their condolences to the bank, adding that the loss was immense as the void he left would be difficult to fill.
“I want to thank you all for your support in this our time of grief and I implore you all to pray for the family and the bank. As you all go back to your busy schedules I hope and pray that you will arrive safely and God will continue to be with you all,” Mr Meze concluded.
It is expected that the corpse of the late Ekpenisi Igumbor will be flown back to Nigeria this weekend onboard Arik as the funeral will take place in his hometown.