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Here is a rundown of five of the hottest news topics…
1. SEC warns Nigerians against Loom
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned Nigerians against an increasingly popular scheme tagged “Loom Money Nigeria.” The Commission described “Loom Money Nigeria” as a Ponzi scheme and a “looming danger” to Nigerians.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Mary Uduk, the Acting Director General of the SEC said that the group behind the scheme are “online fraudsters” who use social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp to lure unsuspecting victims and then dupe them.
She said the group lures young Nigerians into investing as low as N1,000 and N13,000 with the promise of getting as much as eight times return for the value of investment within 48 hours.
The SEC DG said it was not a tangible business model since returns are expected to be paid from other people’s invested funds.
“Unlike MMM that had a website and the promoter known, promoters of ‘Loom Money Nigeria’ are not yet known. This pyramid scheme operates through closed groups mainly on Facebook and WhatsApp. If it were a local Ponzi scheme with known offices, it would be very easy for the commission to seal their offices and freeze their accounts.”
2. Brexit talks between parties collapse
Brexit talks held between British Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition Labour Party have collapsed after both sides failed to reach an agreement.
Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said on Friday that negotiations had gone as far as they could go, stating that both sides have been unable to bridge “important policy gaps” between them.
The talks which have been ongoing for almost two months was the Prime Minister’s last-ditch attempt for both parties to agree on a Brexit plan that could be approved by the British parliament. The parliament after three attempts failed to agree on a plan that would enable the UK to leave the EU with a deal.
The collapse in talks has further shoved the UK into political disarray as the idea of a successful Brexit deal becomes increasingly unlikely. They were however granted an extension period till October 31 to come up with a solution or ditch the idea of Brexit altogether.
Theresa May had offered to step down in a bid for her proposed withdrawal agreement to be accepted but was left frustrated when the MPs not only rejected it but were unable to agree on a suitable alternative.
3. Naira Marley charged by EFCC
Azeez Adeshina Fashola most popularly known as Naira Marley has been charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for several crimes including credit card fraud. A total of 11 charges were filed before a Lagos State High Court on Thursday.
The alleged crimes which date since back to last year were in contravention of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the Cyber Crimes Act. According to the EFCC, the musician was caught in possession of credit cards that bore the name Nicole Louise Malyon and Timea Fedorne Tatar.
The ‘Issa Goal’ singer who is controversially known to praise internet fraudsters in his songs and social media handles, was arrested in connection with an alleged case of internet fraud and money laundering. He has been in EFCC custody for almost a week.
His management company, Ellz Entz, have released a statement asking for the release of their client. In the statement, they insist the musician was innocent and does not practice fraud neither does he facilitate it. They also added that Marley was only guilty of “Freedom of Speech.”
The EFCC have said Naira Marley has been cooperative and has volunteered useful information about his involvement in the criminal activities. Investigations are still ongoing and if found guilty, the musician risks up to seven years in jail.
4. Chelsea Manning sent back to jail
A federal judge has once again found Chelsea Manning in contempt after she refused to testify before a grand jury for a second time. The judge also ruled that she will be fined $500 per day after 30 days and the fine would be increased to $1,000 per day after 60 days.
Chelsea Manning, a former Army Intelligence analyst was released from federal custody last week after 62 days in jail for failing to testify before a grand jury in March about her disclosure of military and diplomatic secrets to Wikileaks in 2010.
Manning who had asked to be released earlier this month, saying “nothing will convince me to testify,” told the judge on Thursday she would “rather starve to death” than testify. Her lawyers have also maintained the stance, releasing a statement which said: “Chelsea will continue to refuse to answer questions.”
US Attorney and the top federal prosecutor, Zachary Terwilliger told the press that “all we want is her to truthfully answer questions as our constitutional republic requires of our citizens.” He also added that “we have a lawfully predicated reason for seeking testimony and we’ll continue to do so.”
Manning has been remanded by the US Marshals Service and will return to detention.
5. Taiwan legalise gay marriage
In a landmark decision, a bill legalizing same-sex marriage has been approved by lawmakers in Taiwan. The decision makes the Island the first place in Asia to pass gay marriage legislation.
The island’s constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples had the right to legally marry. The parliament was given a two-year deadline to pass the changes.
Taiwan boasts of a large gay community. They hold gay pride parades that is reportedly the biggest in Asia.
Hundreds of gay rights supporters gathered in the rain outside the parliament building in the capital to await the ruling. Cries of joy erupted as the result was announced and many took to social media in celebration.
However, not everyone was happy about the decision as some conservative opponents expressed their anger over the vote.
Muslihat Shaka reporting
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