It is not uncommon for cowards to stage different con tactics to escape all responsibilities for their criminal acts. The most popular and the most successful one is feigning illness.
Lu Xiang, a Chinese anti-graft prosecutor once told a Chinese Court that corrupt officials often fake illness to dodge trial. Since 2009, Lu Xiang has handled more than 90 major corruption cases, 17 of which involved bureau-level cadres, 19 at departmental level, and 47 cases involving people who had received one million yuan (about $1.26 million) or more in bribes.
Alan Knight and his wife Helen of Sketty, Swansea, UK came up with cock-and-bull story to dodge justice. Knight tried to dodge trial for conning a vulnerable elderly neighbor out of his 41,000 British pounds savings after he was charged to court in September 2012. The wife Helen Knight, had claimed her husband couldn’t stand trial because he was a quadriplegic.
She even wrote Prime Minister David Cameron to support her campaign for cops to drop fraud charges against her husband because he was in a coma. But police found Knight 48, had been on family vacation and shopping trips during the two years when he was supposed to be in a coma. Alan and his wife were however sent to jail for pretending Alan was in a “vegetative state” to escape trial. Alan was jailed for an extra 14 months in addition to a four-and-a-half year term for fraud.
In 2012 in the Philippines, Renato Corona Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines was convicted for failure to declare several high value assets including $2.4 million in foreign currency deposits on his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN). Corona’s vain attempt to feign illness did not succeed in securing his release. The Senate sitting as the Impeachment Court, voted 20 to convict and 3 to acquit. Corona was the first impeachable official to be successfully impeached and convicted in Philippine history.
V.D. Savarkar, the brain behind the failed attempt assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, on January 1948 escaped with an acquittal on the basis of feign illness.
Nigeria is a nation where the big fish swims to escape. Our history has shown that no high ranking Nigerian government official, minister, or senior political appointee has ever served commensurate prison time for corruption while anti-corruption activists often face harassment and arrest.
It’s no secret that those the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had successfully prosecuted in corruption scandals tend to be low-level public employees whose conviction is unlikely to change the way the system works. Cases against high-level officials and politicians tend not to proceed at all, or at best stalled; largely due to political interference, intimidation, and purchase of judges. Mr. Saraki’s case is a painful reminder of a big fish swimming undisturbed. These corrupt officials have one thing in common: they use their group’s commitment to self-preservation and self-promotion to their advantage, as a cover for their crimes.
The March 28 Democratic Revolution that brought President Muhammad Buhari to power is fighting corruption terrorism on all fronts in Nigeria. The flamboyant former Petroleum Minister Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, former National Security Adviser Mr. Sambo Dasuki, and former EFCC Chairman Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde claimed they are all sick to face trial or scrutiny. Mrs. Alison-Madueke is “sick of breast cancer” and she’s receiving treatment in London, UK. For now, she cannot face trial at home. Mr. Lamorde few days ago jetted out of the country to escape appearing before the Senate committee on ethics, privileges, and public petitions. He was accused of diversion of funds. His lawyer said he was abroad for medical treatment. Mr. Dasuki was not so lucky.
Mr. Dasuki was first arrested in July by the State Security Services (SSS) after a prolonged siege in his Abuja home. He was charged to court with illegal possession of arms and for stealing $2 billion meant for the military to fight Boko Haram. Mr. Ahmed Raji SAN, the lead attorney for Mr. Dasuki pleaded that his client’s passport be released to allow him to travel for three weeks for treatment of his “budding cancer.” Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court Abuja granted Mr. Dasuki’s request for his passport to be released to enable him receive treatment abroad.
Fuming with anger on the re-arrest of Mr. Dasuki, Justice Ademola queried: “Court order must be obeyed. What is wrong in the defendant traveling and coming back to face trial? Only a fit person can stand trial and investigation. My own orders will not be flouted,” said the angry Justice Ademola.
Now that Mr. Dasuki has realized that the net is closing in on him, he too resorts to feigning illness. It is simply not plausible that this is a real sudden illness striking a major public figure. The fake illness is essentially to neutralize any further investigation better still, to stall the case till the second coming of Christ. This is an act of desperation to escape justice.
The claim that Mr. Dasuki is sick of cancer is a filthy lie. He’s not alone in the game to con 170 million dumb Nigerians. These con artists operate on lies, vile, deceptions, and murderous fraud. The evidence of their feign illness is faked – and is particularly supported by the timing of their sickness. Agreed, any one could fall sick at any time. Sickness doesn’t give short or long notice. Mr. Dasuki’s “sickness” is more of a planned, coached, and rehearsed excuse than a coincidence. It’s a cock-and-bull story!
How come throughout the Jonathan years when these suspects were junketing all over the world, building castles all over the place, stashing money in known and unknown banks, wining and dining with the rich and the famous they didn’t complain of mere headache talk more of cancer? Dasuki’s story is simply not believable, not to any degree.
If 86-year-old former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could stand trial on his hospital stretcher, there is no reason why any of the accused could not be brought to court dead or alive. As part of his war on corruption, President Buhari by executive power should stop all politicians from going overseas for medical treatment. They must be treated at home. After all, they are responsible for the sordid state of our healthcare. Many poor Nigerians die of cancer and other diseases everyday due to lack of treatment. Let the wicked and corrupt politicians have a taste of the hemlock being forced down the throat of impoverished Nigerians.
There is every effort by some people, especially those who are related to Dasuki by way of treasury looting, to give credence to his fraud. For example, the star of the EkitiGate the ex-danfo driver, the governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose came to the defence of Dasuki: “The department of State Services (DSS) placement of former NSA under house arrest despite court order that his passport be released so that he can travel abroad for medical treatment is wicked, inhuman, dictatorial and a clear attempt to deny him of his rights to life as enshrined in the constitution of Nigerian.”
Nigerians, don’t be surprised to see Mr. Dasuki staring at us with those vicious, soul-less eyes, laughing in his gluttony while perfecting another concocted story to escape trial. Regardless of the outcome of corruption cases against the corrupt politicians who feign illness in order to flee from justice, their legacy is one of wretchedness and filthy corruption, whether dead, alive, or in limbo.
These wanton destroyers of our economy and of the common people, are nothing other than cowards who would fake their death. It’s all as a means to ensure that they escape any scrutiny and any trial for their high crimes against humanity.
A young lady on twitter called Empress aka Sugabelly has rained curses on the late APC governorship candidate in Kogi State Prince Abubakar Audu, saying he stood by and failed to act when she was repeatedly raped by his children in his residence, while he was governor. She claimed that the late Audu's sons raped and tortured her while gang-raping her. She called Audu a monster.
In her tweets, she said, “The Prince Audu I knew was a monster. I am glad he is dead, and I spit and dance on his grave. So happy he died. God please hurry up and take Mustapha, Kabir and Bashir too, and that their animal of a cousin called Jibrin."
As if addressing one of the sons Mustapha directly, she penned down, “Your daddy is dead Mustapha.” She also went on to say those who think she is happy the Prince died because of politics are unserious people.
The said Empress went further to allege that the deceased’s son molested her s*xually. She said she was just 17 years old when she graduated from a school in Abuja knwon as Loyola, and decided to take one year to make ends meet.
According to her, “I lived in Abuja and had just finished my first ever real world job as an intern in this tech company called Alteq. I met Mustapha there. His father, Audu, was the governor of Kogi state then.
“I was the youngest person in the company and he sort of took me under his wings and he was nice to me."
She went further to claim that one thing led to another and Mustapha allegedly started having carnal knowledge of her. Empress added that at that point, there was no one she could ask for help.
According to her, “He will choke me while f***ing me. I cried and begged him but he will get angry and say I was ruining his flow. Whenever I did not do what he or his friends wanted, he would hit me and drag me by my hair. So I learnt to be obedient.
“He used to bring new friends every time. He did other unpleasant things like burn me and hold my head under water while his friends f***ed me, but that was only once or twice.
“I was in love with him and inside, I kept hoping he didn’t mean it and if I was obedient enough, he would go back to being the sweet guy i met', Empress tweeted.
Mr. Abubakar Audu, the populist prince of Igala land and undisputed favorite at last Saturday's governorship election was waiting to be declared winner of the governorship election, when he was said to have suddenly started vomiting blood and then suffered a heart attack. He had no chance. He was pronounced dead minutes later.
Mr. Audu, the clear winner of the governorship elections was flying the APC flag, and favored to win. INEC results from majority of the polling stations, suggested that he was far ahead of his opponent, the incumbent governor Mr. Idris Wada whose lackluster performance in office in the last four years had left the electorate poorer and disillusioned and yearning for a change. He was set to receive a trouncing at the polls.
But in a twist not unlike the cold blooded killing of Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the annealed June 12, 1993 presidential election who was believed to have been poisoned in detention just days before he was to regain his freedom, and possibly his mandate, Mr. Audu, who was clearly ahead in the polls and was waiting to be declared winner, suddenly clutched his stomach and started vomiting blood, according to sources. Then he had a heart attack.
Medical sources say Mr. Audu's sudden and tragic death had all the hallmarks of poisoning. They say vomiting blood is not associated with heart attack, but poisoning. So the question begging for an answer: who wanted Abubakar Audu dead?
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday alleged that the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) has pulled in partisan military operatives to assist it in rigging Saturday’s Kogi state governorship election.
The party said instead of allowing the forces to concentrate on their statutory role of providing peripheral security during elections, the APC led administration has concluded plans to clamp-down on PDP members and supporters to pave way for some pliable INEC officials to manipulate.
The party said intelligence information available to it shows that some compromised military personnel led by a senior officer of the rank of a Colonel have been detailed by the Presidency to carry out specific assignments in support of APC candidate in the election.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement said the development is not only a recipe to civil disorder but also a clear invitation to total disruption of free and fair polls in the state if not immediately checked.
“Available intelligence shows that the deployment to Kogi state, of the Army Colonel, who is a known APC sympathizer is part of the fallout of last week’s secret meeting coordinated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), where orders were issued to clamp-down on PDP members and supporters to pave way for some pliable INEC officials to manipulate the election in favour of the APC.
“Compromised troops have already been detailed to Dekina Local Government Area, the largest PDP stronghold in the state and home of Governor Idris Wada, where they have been instructed to create panic, strong-arm PDP supporters, frighten and scare away voters, ostensibly to deprive our party of its expected large votes from the area.
“We are also aware of how the head of Security of APC candidate’s Campaign Organization, a retired Army General, is coordinating the movement of partisan security operatives into other key local governments, including Igalamela, Ofu, Ankpa and Idah, to harass and frighten PDP supporters and provide a leeway for the APC to manipulate the election.
“The PDP also has information of the copious involvement of a retired police officer, who is working with some men of the Directorate of Security Services (DSS) in providing illegal arms, vehicles and cover for APC thugs who have been positioned to attack PDP supporters during the election.
“We find it absolutely shocking that President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government, a huge beneficiary of free, fair and credible election conducted by the PDP, would so early in the day, seek to corrupt the electoral system and willfully attempt to subvert the will of the people.
“The PDP however notes that no amount of force and intimidation can bend the will of the Kogi people from appropriately exercising their franchise and using every means within the law to protect their mandate.
“While we charge our members and the entire people of Kogi state to remain vigilant and continue to assert their constitutional rights and liberty, we also call on the security forces to note that their duty is primarily to the nation and its citizens, and as such must ensure that they do not become tools in the hands of anti-democratic forces seeking to truncate our democracy.”
The first prize was awarded to Bassita, an Egyptian start-up that has developed the idea of “click funding
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 19, 2015/ -- Orange announced the winners of the 2015 Orange African Social Venture Prize during the AfricaCom Awards ceremony held in Cape Town last night. For the fifth year in a row, the Orange Group is recognizing three innovative projects that are set to stimulate development in Africa. The prize aims to encourage entrepreneurs as they launch initiatives using technology to meet the needs of people living in Africa.
PARIS, France, November 18, 2015/ -- Orange, together with the other members of the ACE consortium, announces the start of the next phase of the ACE submarine cable system to expand broadband connectivity and digital services in Africa.
Second phase of the ACE cable
For this phase II, the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system is being extended to South Africa: a 5,000km extension from island of Sao Tomé & Principe, in the Gulf of Guinea, to South Africa that will further strengthen the role ACE is playing in critical infrastructure development in the continent.
Today, nearly 12,000km of fiber optic cable are already used to connect 18 countries - France, Portugal, the Canary Islands (Spain), Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and São Tomé & Príncipe. Two landlocked countries, Mali and Niger, are connected via a terrestrial extension.
When Phase II is completed, ACE will cover a total distance of 17,000km and will allow up to 25 countries to access high speed internet.
Most advanced & secured technology
ACE uses the most advanced high-speed broadband fiber optic technology; wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) allows the capacity to be increased as and when it is needed without additional submarine work being required. Overall capacity will be boosted to 12.8 Tbps using 100-Gbps technology, which supports high-capacity networks.
An essential asset for the Group's broadband network in Africa
The consortium has invested around US$700 million in the construction of the cable, which includes US$250 million from the Orange Group and its subsidiaries.
Through these major investments Orange confirms its commitment to provide widespread access to the internet in the close to twenty African countries where the Group is present and to continue to improve the quality of its network service.
HONEYDEW, South Africa, November 18, 2015/ -- The Anzisha Prize is thrilled to announce this year’s winner of the $25,000 Grand Prize in the 5th year of Africa’s premier award for youth entrepreneurship. Chris Kwekowe (22), founder of Slatecube which offers a job-relevant skills learning platform and job placement services, impressed the judges. Slatecube has had significant success to date with potential for scale and will serve as an inspiring beacon for other youth interested in entrepreneurship. The decision was not easy, however, given the talented pool of finalists. Fintech entrepreneur Fabrice Alomo (22, Cameroon) was 1st Runner Up ($15,000) and fashion entrepreneur Mabel Suglo (22, Ghana) was 2nd Runner Up ($12,500).
Chris Kwekowe founded Slatecube to increase job access for youth through creating a platform on which they can build job-relevant skills and linking them with virtual internship opportunities that enable them to develop experience. His vision for the venture is to see it grow into a wide-scale provider of relevant job market access, with increasing ability to open doors for job seekers.
“I did not believe that I could have won the prize when the competition started. But I feel confident in what I can achieve now given the capital and training that I have received through the Anzisha Prize. I congratulate all the other finalists as I believe they were all very impressive and look forward to engaging them as we support each other to grow going forward,” says Chris.
The first runner up was Fabrice Alomo from Cameroon, founder of My AConnect. The venture aims to increase the ease with which unbanked people in Cameroon transact and gain access to financial services. My AConnect provides AMoney, and electronic currency with which unbanked individuals can make purchases with over 500 enterprises by depositing money through charge cards. Fabrice’s vision is to increase financial service access for Cameroon’s 17 million unbanked people.
A still impressive second runner up was Mabel Suglo from Ghana, founder of Eco Shoes. Mabel offers an assortment of shoes and accessories that are fashionable and Afro-themed, using recycled materials. Her employee-base is predominantly disabled individuals. She aims to increase their economic participation through job opportunities. Mabel believes that disability is not inability and employs people with a variety of disabilities to create products that she sells into wholesale and retail markets.
The Anzisha Sector Prize in Agriculture was awarded to Chantal Butare, founder of Kinazi Dairy Cooperative. Chantal’s cooperative collects milk from over 3,000 families in her community, and processes the milk for sale. She generates income for these families, as well as for ten milk collectors who are in her employ. Her ambition is motivate for sufficient capital to mechanize her process and increase scale to create revenue for yet more families in her community. Chantal is a shining example of youth role models that Anzisha Prize aims to celebrate: Youth who are operating successfully in sectors that are considered non-traditional for youth, but that have immense potential to catalyze economic growth in Africa.
“Over the past five years, we have seen the Anzisha Prize evolve from a one-time prize for social entrepreneurship, to an entire community of young, innovative leaders across Africa who have access to comprehensive support and networking opportunities,” says Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Youth Livelihoods at The MasterCard Foundation. “I continue to be impressed by the caliber of youth entrepreneurs that Africa has to offer and congratulate them on their ability to inspire both ourselves and the rest of the continent.”
The 2015 Anzisha Prize Finalists were celebrated at a prestigious invitation-only ceremony on Tuesday, November 17th 2015 at Room Five venue in Rivonia, Johannesburg. The keynote speaker was Alex Okosi, pioneer of MTV Networks in Africa, a staunch proponent for a truly African voice for youth.
The Anzisha Prize is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation. The 12 finalists for Anzisha Prize for 2015 were selected from an impressive initial pool of 494 young entrepreneurs, up from 339 applications in 2014. The Anzisha Prize is proud to have attracted applicants from 33 African countries, with finalists from Zimbabwe and Ethiopia identified for the first time this year. Applications were also received from a diversity of sectors, with agriculture having the most applicants. Now in its fifth year, The Anzisha Prize celebrated these outstanding young people during Global Entrepreneurship Week joining the worldwide festivities. Having received a share of US$75,000, the Anzisha Finalists join a growing pool of now 54 Fellows to receive access to ongoing support to scale their enterprises and expand their impact.
Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on the 15th of February in 2016. However, nominations for promising youth entrepreneurs are open all year round.
LOME, Togo, November 18, 2015/ -- Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) today announced a leadership change in its largest subsidiary, Ecobank Nigeria Limited. By the Bank’s internal policy, Mr. Jibril Aku, the current Managing Director of the subsidiary, having concluded his five-year tenure as managing director, will step down from his current role at the end of this year. Mr Aku will take on another senior role in the firm in the first quarter of 2016.
Mr Aku, a distinguished banker, spent the most part of his banking career with Citibank (Nigeria International Bank), before joining former Afribank Nigeria Plc as Executive Director, Operations & Technology from 2003 to 2005. Thereafter, he joined Ecobank Nigeria in 2006 as Executive Director responsible for the Bank’s Treasury & Financial Institutions business, following which he was subsequently appointed Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria in 2010.
The Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ade Ayeyemi, said: “Jibril has been instrumental in leading the Ecobank franchise to its position in the Nigeria banking industry today. With the Oceanic Bank acquisition, Jibril positioned the bank from number 13 to its current position of number six.”
Mr Aku said: “I am proud of what the team and I have achieved together, and I thank them for the good work and their unwavering commitment to Ecobank. Our Board stood with us, and was steadfast in its support. I must, therefore, extend my sincere appreciation to the Board and the team. Despite some of the market challenges that we faced over the years, our customers have always been loyal, and it is their patronage that led to the achievements we see today.”
The Chairman of the Ecobank Nigeria Board, Mr John Aboh, also congratulated Mr Aku for the good work he and his team had achieved, and said he looked forward to the Bank improving on this.
The Board will immediately activate the process of selecting a successor. The successful candidate will be announced before the end of next month.
The troops of the Seventh Division on Sunday averted what would have been a brutal Boko Haram siege on the Maiduguri, the Borno State capital by arresting a top commander of the deadly sect who would have attacked the city.
The Media Coordinator of Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Tukur Gusau, said in a statement on Monday that the suspect identified as John Trankil, was arrested with eight others at Kasuwar Shanu in Maiduguri on Sunday.
He said that Trankil confessed during interrogation that the nine insurgents sneaked into Maiduguri with a Toyota Hilux vehicle to carry out attacks in selected parts of the city.
According to him, each of the terror suspects, armed with AK 47 assault rifle, also had 20 Improvised Explosive Devices prepared for detonation in selected areas of Maiduguri during the planned siege.
He quoted the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Yusha’u Abubakar, as having commended the troops for their vigilance.
Abubakar was also quoted as having called for increased vigilance in checkpoints, markets, worship centres, motor parks and schools.
Gusau stated also that the troops of the 21 Brigade and the fighter pilots of the Nigerian Air Force discovered and destroyed IEDs and rockets along Bama-Gonin Kurmi near Bama.
According to him, the military recovered ‘gas cylinders, welding machines, pipes and poles, locally-made rocket shells, large quantity of assorted chemicals, unprimed IEDs and various technical and laboratory equipment suspected to have been stolen from schools’ laboratories around Bama by members of Boko Haram.
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, told our correspondent on the telephone on Monday that the military would come out with the real identities of the terrorists involved in the foiled attack on Maiduguri.
When asked why a Boko Haram insurgent would be identified as John, he said, “Sometimes, the name they give will not necessarily be their real names. This is just the preliminary investigation. Further investigation will be made. The full investigation will reveal his true identity and those of his colleagues.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria and three other countries fighting the Boko Haram insurgency in West Africa’s Lake Chad region should unite behind a broader strategy to ease poverty and climate change that are spurring millions to migrate to Europe, a United Nations’ official said on Monday.
Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon have joined forces in the past four months to recapture some territory from the radical Islamist Boko Haram, UN Assistant Secretary-General Toby Lanzer, told a news conference in Geneva.
But all four states should also invest more in health, education, and social services and attract more foreign investment to expand regional trade and encourage development, which would undercut the appeal of migration, Lanzer said.
There is increasing recognition that Boko Haram is a symptom of underlying economic and social problems and that a “one-pronged” effort to wipe out the group would not work, said Lanzer, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel, an arid region stretching across West Africa from Senegal to Chad.
“There needs to be a strategy for the Lake Chad region … drawn up by the four governments, and it needs to address the development issues, how to resolve abject poverty, how to provide opportunities for the youth,” Lanzer said.
“The population in the Sahel will increase by 150 million people in the next 30 years. That’s a very compelling reason not to allow this region to become any poorer or more marginalised or affected by climate change because at the end of the day, if people are poor or persecuted they will walk.”
“European governments needed to be aware of the risk of a surge in migration from the Sahel, where Lake Chad is drying up, 25 million people already suffer from food shortages and 700,000 children die each year from malnutrition,” he said.
A Catholic Priest in Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka has condemned the recent agitation and protests for Biafra nation describing the action as ‘evil’.
Mbaka made the condemnation in Enugu on Saturday in a sermon at his weekly Adoration Ministry.
The cleric urged youths in the South East and South-South to go back to their business as the protest could lead to their death.
“Locking up your shops and disrupting economic activities will not add any naira to your pocket, whatever grievance you have could be resolved through dialogue,” the cleric said.
He lambasted those leaders that were behind the agitation and protests, saying that they should use their children for the struggle.
Mbaka commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing ministers from the zone and assigning them with good portfolios.
“President Buhari’s action has proven that the South East has not been marginalized. I would have reacted if no minister emerged from the zone,” he said.
He said that the five states in the zone had minister each as prescribed by the Nigerian constitution as well as other key security and protocol officers that serves under president and his wife.
The reverend father attributed the recent free health screening initiative by the Wife of the president, Mrs Aisha Buhari, in Enugu to her love for the people of the region.
He blamed the Igbo leaders for not living up to the expectation of the people in the area, adding that past governors, National Assembly members failed woefully in discharging their mandates.
“President Buhari is not the cause of poor roads, unemployment and other decay infrastructures in the south east, we should blame our leaders.
“Most of the roads had been awarded but our leaders squandered the fund, even the university teaching hospital in Enugu is a no-go-area and our leaders are not concerned about it,” he said.
Mbaka called on the new Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, to use his office to employ youths in the zone, adding that it would stop what he called another Boko Haram in the south east if not curtailed.
He praised Buhari’s war against corruption, saying it had enthroned due process and sanity in governance.
The cleric, however, urged Nigerians to be patient with the president as he had good plans for the country.
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