One of President Muhammadu Buhari’s close associates Nasir Danu said to be the go-between who hooks up contractors with first lady Aisha Buhari has been arrested at Heathrow Airport in the UK with a fake Maltese passport and more than £200,000 in cash.
Apparently, Mr Danu’s passport refused to scan at the airport, leading to security operatives, taking him into a room while his carry-on bag was searched and a cash amount of over £200,000 found on him. During cross-examination, Mr Danu told investigators that he paid $30,000 to an agent who helped him procure the Malta passport and that he was carrying the cash to deliver to someone in UK.
It is not immediately known if the huge cash was meant for Mrs Buhari, who has been in London for almost three months now. Mr Danu also enjoys close ties with the first lady and is the link man between the president’s wife and many oil contractors who seek favours from her.
Also, it was Mr Danu who donated the N56m power-bike Yusuf Buhari, had an accident with. He has been awarded billions in contracts from Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
One Heathrow Airport staff added: “The genuine document has been unlawfully altered in some ways. They substituted some pages, substituted a photograph and altered the personal details, replacing them with Danu.”
As a result of the forgery, Mr Danu was deported back to Nigeria, the cash seized and he was banned from entering the United Kingdom. Malta recently came under fire when it announced plans to allow wealthy foreigners to obtain a passport for a €650,000 investment with no residency requirement, which would have made it the cheapest European Union (EU) nation in which to purchase citizenship.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat estimated about 45 people would apply in the first year, resulting in €30m ($41m) in revenue. After pressure from EU officials, however, officials changed the rule to require potential passport holders to reside in Malta for a year and raised the investment threshold to €1.15m.
Mr Danu’s company Casiva, was recently awarded 2019/20 contracts for the exchange of crude oil for imported petroleum products by the NNPC. Among other things, Mr Danu was the director of logistics for the Buhari Campaign Organisation and is also the chairman of HLSI Systems & Technology, a firm that got a contract for the sum of $195m for the rental of security boats known as Fast Security Intervention Vessels.