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53 Gold-Plated Iphone: “I’ll Stand By My Story” – British Journalist




According to Punchng, Simon Osborne, the British journalist, who reported that the Federal Government ordered 53 customised gold-plated iPhone 5S mobile handsets valued at N682m from a company based in the United Kingdom, has said he will stand by his story.

In an exclusive online interview with our correspondent on Thursday, Osborne said he is “annoyed’’ that the Chief Executive Officer of Gold and Co, Amjad Ali, “changed his story’’ after an online protest had greeted the development from Nigeria.

Osborne who writes for The Independent newspaper in London argued that Ali “stated clearly’’ that the order for the phones came from the Nigerian government as part of the memorabilia for the nation’s 53rd independence anniversary from Britain.

While explaining the circumstances that led to the denial, the British journalist said he pressed Ali for further clarification, after some persons claiming to be spokesmen for the government challenged him (Osborne) over the report. He said the CEO, however, changed his story.

He said “Ali stated clearly that the order, as described, came from the Nigerian Government. He did not say who, or which department had made the order. I saw denials on Twitter from people purporting to be spokespeople for the (Nigerian) government.


“I emailed Ali to ask for his response. He then said the order was not from the government but from an individual. I sent a correction to our website (the story was online only). They did not deny the report. The company (Ali) only changed his story. This annoyed me, naturally.’’

When asked if he still stands by his initial report about Ali’s claim, Osborne said, “Absolutely, Yes.’’

However, Nigerians who reacted to the news with widespread condemnation, say they are surprised with the somewhat spate of denials that greeted the development.

They said since FG denied the report, it should do the polity more good by unmasking the identity of the individual who was said to have made the order.

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