The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investment, Mrs Maryam Uwais, is taking legal action against Nigerian newspaper, Leadership for an alleged defamatory report on the National Social Investments Programmes (NSIP), Concise News reports.
Mrs Uwais is demanding N2 billion as “punitive aggravated and exemplary damages” and N2 million as cost of this suit against the newspaper. She filed this suit on September 13.
According to the court document, Leadership Newspaper’s report, titled ”Aisha Buhari Right on NSIP” caused Mrs Uwais an ”irreparable damage to her reputation”.
Therefore, the legal luminary filed the suit at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) court through Olufemi Fabunmi, Oluwole Abiola, Mu’awiya Yinusa, and Victor Forghe of Primera Africa law chamber in Abuja.
She requested “An order of the court compelling the defendant to pay the sum of N2 billion to the claimant as punitive aggravated and exemplary damages for the public ridicule and loss to reputation.”
It would be recalled that Aisha Buhari, Nigeria’s First Lady criticised the social investment programmes (SIP) coordinated by Uwais.
Mrs Buhari said the initiative failed to reach its intended beneficiaries in at least Adamawa and Kano.
Mrs Buhari who spoke at a forum in May, at the Presidential Villa, said she was told that 30,000 women from Adamawa would benefit from the programme but nothing of such happened.
“The SSA to the president on social investment is a lady from Kano and I’m sure that my husband decided to put somebody from Kano because of the population and political impact it made. I have never asked how the money is used or being given out,” she had said.
“I met one of the president’s aides on SIP once and he promised me that for my state (Adamawa), N10,000 each would be given to 30,000 women but up till now, I haven’t heard from him.
“Recently, I saw a 74-year-old man selling petty things in Kano. I asked him how much is his capital. He told me between N3,000 and N4,000. Do not forget that we have campaigned to give the poorest of the poor N5,000 every month.
“So I don’t know where the social investment..maybe it worked out in some states. In my own state, only a local government benefited out of the 22.
“I did not ask what happened and I do not want to know. But for it to fail woefully in Kano, it is not a good sign and it is not a good thing,” Mrs Buhari said.
However, Uwais faulted Mrs Buhari’s claims, itemising its achievements in two northern states where the wife of the President said it has had no impact.
The NSIO, which Uwais heads, coordinates the implementation of the four components of the National Social Investment Programme namely; The National Home Grown School Feeding Programme NHGSFP, N-Power, National Cash Transfer Programme NCTP and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme GEEP.
President Buhari during the Independence Day speech said the NSIPs will now be moved to the newly created ministry of social development.
When reached by phone by Premium Times on Friday, the editor of Leadership, Muazu Muazu, said he had not seen the court papers and could not comment on the case.