y1WlEjNAYV3-K1WpS3N1_iK3Azo TaJuLa's Blog: British Journalist Stands By Story On Gold Iphones.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

British Journalist Stands By Story On Gold Iphones.

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.’’ But a former Minister of Education, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, appears to have a different view. She said in a post on Twitter that it was unusual for private citizens to place orders of that kind with the Nigerian coat of arms. She tweeted, “Private citizens cannot place orders with the Nigerian coat of arms. So, there is need for clarification, really.’’When the news of the denial by the company came to her, she challenged the FG to sue it for slander. “Sounds like an after-thought to me.  Otherwise,  the FG should definitely sue that company for slander.’ “But I believe The Independent of London is a reputable newspaper, though,  like all of us, it is not infallible. But to date there hasn’t been any such scandal against it. It is not enough to say it is a lie, the FG must disprove them. Sue them if you dare; after all,  it will be a good payday for Nigerian government in the court.’’
Punch Online.

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