Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has declared his readiness to waive his constitutional immunity to “enable the most robust adjudication” of several baseless allegations, insinuation and falsehoods against his person and office.
Osinbajo made the declaration in a tweet he personally authored on Wednesday.
Osinbajo through his verified twitter handle @ProfOsinbajo tweeted:
“In the past few days, a spate of reckless and malicious falsehoods has been peddled in the media against me by a group of malicious individuals.
“The defamatory and misleading assertions invented by this clique had mostly been making the social media rounds anonymously.
“I have today instructed the commencement of legal action against two individuals: one Timi Frank and another Katch Ononuju, who have put their names to these odious falsehoods.
“I will waive my constitutional immunity to enable the most robust adjudication of these claims of libel and malicious falsehood.”
Earlier, the vice president, through a statement signed by his media aide, Laolu Akande, had explained that the social investment funds were not mismanaged.
According to him, the funding and disbursement were domiciled in Budget and National Planning Ministry, adding that the schemes had World Bank, CSOs oversight and has been praised for its transparency.
The statement read: “The Office of the Vice President is not involved in financial transactions or the disbursement of funds for the Buhari administration’s National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIPs).
“The Ministry of Budget and National Planning is in charge of all matters regarding financing, budgeting, procurement and disbursement of funds allocated and released for the N-SIPs.
“The Steering Committee for the NSIO, chaired by the vice president, supervises the implementation of the SIPs. The Steering Committee comprises nine ministers, including those of Finance; Education, Health, Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Youth and Sports, Women Affairs, Labour and Productivity, Information, with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning as the secretariat. The steering committee meets regularly for updates, to review, advise, guide and approve the processes of the N-SIPs.
“Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) beneficiaries are identified by members of the communities themselves, through a tripartite method, which includes technology, for objectively and scale. At commencement, the World Bank community-based targeting process was adopted to assure of community ownership of the process.
“The Bank of Industry (BOI) manages the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which provides collateral and interest-free financial support to businesses at the bottom of the financial pyramid, through its MarketMoni, FarmerMoni and TraderMoni schemes. The payment process is also transparent.
“The vice president only goes round markets in the states where the TraderMoni scheme is launched to engage with beneficiaries, but he is not involved in the disbursement of loans, whether in cash or through cash transfers.
“The Social Investment Programmes have won notable international awards, including Financial Inclusion Award – at the 2019 African Bankers’ Awards: where BOI won for GEEP, Tutu Leadership Fellowship for 2019 – GEEP COO, Uzoma Nwagba, named among recipients. Public Social Intrapreneur award –Mrs Maryam Uwais, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, was among recipients of awards given by Schwab Foundation, a sister organisation of the World Economic Forum, WEF.”