11 September 2013

Nigeria: Controversy Trails Purchase of Gold-Plated Iphones

Photo: This Day

Gold and Co, the luxury product company that claimed to have received an order from the Nigerian Government for 53 gold-plated Iphones for the country's 53rd independence anniversary has retracted the claim made by its boss, Amjad Ali.

In a twitter exchange between the company and a Nigerian social activist, Henry Okelue (@4eyedmonk), the London-based company denied its earlier claim that it got the order directly from the government, saying the order came from a private individual.

"These have been ordered not by the government but by an individual who is gifting them to people there to celebrate the [53rd Anniversary]," the company's twitter handle (@goldandco) tweeted at Mr. Okelue.

The company then suggested that the Daily Independent lied saying "what was written and what was said are different."

But the author of the story, Simon Usborne, insists that he reported what he was told by Mr. Ali when asked about the denial on Gold and Co.

"I can only confirm what the boss of @goldandco told me," he said.

He also suggested that Gold and Co is desperately trying to re-script the interview after the fact and probably to assuage the attention and angry reaction the story has attracted from Nigerians on social media.

"Seems boss of @goldandco got carried away. He now tells me a Nigerian individual - not the govt. - ordered 53 anniversary gold iPhones," he tweeted.

Each of the gold plated phones is expected to be engraved with Nigeria's coat of arm and valued between £3000 and £50,000 (N750,000 to 12,5 million).

It wasn't us

The Federal Government has also come out to deny it ordered the phones.

The President's social media aide, Reno Omokri, tweeted that "Be advised that the story that the Nigerian Government has ordered 53 Gold iPhones is false. There is no truth to the story whatsoever."

The Press Secretary to the Minister of Information, Joseph Mutah, also told PREMIUM TIMES that the government did not make the order.

"We have never heard of anything like that. The story is utterly false and mischievous, there is no any order like that at least by this government," he said.

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