In this investigation, ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM writes on the recent crisis in PMAN.
The problem of the Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria, PMAN could be likened to the era of military dictatorship when even after retiring as military men, they still feel pleased to continue ruling as civilian heads of state because of their love for absolute power.
The continued war and confusion bedevilling the association has remain a big challenge not just to industry watchers alone but to other stakeholders who believe it is high time people stop bestowing themselves the title of president of the association, while it is yet to conduct a National Congress to organise an election that would see a new beginning for the association.
On Tuesday 12th July, 2016, the Registrar of Trade Union of Nigeria under the watchful eyes of Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige inaugurated a 24-Man committee with the interim chairman as Mr. Kelvin Lucciano Gabriel while Chris Gimba was appointed as the interim vice chairman which involve members like Dr. Tee Mac O. Dureke, Yinka Davis, King Waleman, Great Ade Samson, Richard Cole, Ras Murphy Van Anthony, Daddy Showkey, Hajiya Amina Dangaji, Comrade Bishop Orji, Orits Wiliki, Pronfa I. Nanfa( Ras-Mar-Gey), Omas Lance Perry and others.
Even with the inauguration of the committee, some set of people still continue to use the name of the association to perpetrate personal dealings according to some of the stakeholders in the industry who simply put it as treachery.
It was reported that one Pretty Okafor has continue to use the name of the association to visit and swindle money for himself and accomplices. The recent one which broke the camel’s back was his visit to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, as a report clearly puts it, “The President of the Interim Committee of PMAN, Mr. Pretty Okafor, and some members of his executive committee on Friday paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.” The report said.
The same visit was broadcast on other national stations and it didn’t go down well with the caretaker committee constituted by the minister of labour and employment. If the said Pretty Okafor knew that the minister inaugurated a committee and an interim head to conduct a fresh election, why did he still pose as the President of the Interim Committee of PMAN to visit the information minister?
According to investigation and some documents provided by the association, and made available to LEADERSHIP, it said that Pretty Okafor is an impostor who uses the name of the association to swindle unsuspecting people and multinational.
The document signed by the Chairman, PMAN caretaker committee, Kevin Lucciano Gabriel Esq., also provided that the said Pretty has been operating two fraudulent bank accounts (Heritage Bank and Diamond Bank in Lagos). The document further explained that
‘for the purpose of clarity, the following bank accounts have been used by Mr Pretty and his accomplices to fraudulently obtain and launder various large amount of money from corporate organisations using the name of PMAN: Heritage bank account number 0002775335=N12,000,000, 2nd Heritage bank account number 5100155938=N80,000,000, Diamond Bank account number 0056423168=N2,000,000′
In another document to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, IGP Monitoring Unit, dated 27th September, 2016, with Ref No: CB:7000/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL./206/146 and signed by the interim president of the association, Kevin Lucciano Gabriel Esq, pointed out that the illegal use of the name of Performing Musicians Employers’ Association Of Nigeria, PMAN to obtain money and official access by deception and false pretence by Mr Pretty Okafor and Kenny George must be checked by the authorities to prevent them from soiling the reputable name of the association.
This was when reports emerge that Okafor scaled through the fence when it was alleged that his house was surrounded by security operatives and some members of the caretaker committee who demanded he come appear before the law to prove his statue in the association.
In a related development, an entertainment pundit and a member of the caretaker committee set up by the Minister Of Labour And Employment, Omas Lance Perry, says as far as the association is concerned, what Pretty is doing is illegal. He explained that:
‘the Inspector General of police (IG) sent his team to bring Pretty down to Abuja, unfortunately, he got the information and scaled through the fence and his wife was arrested. But later, his wife was released on bail because she is a woman. We know that there is no where he can run to because he can’t run away from the law. It is direct from the top that he was requested to come and defend what he’s claiming to be.
‘He went to visit the Minister of Information based on false judgement. All the documents we have them, and he has been parading himself to those that don’t know him as PMAN President. But I’m telling you that what he’s parading is false, he’s not the president of PMAN, he tried to organise an illegal congress in Lagos, we stormed the place and he was nowhere to be found. He’s on the run, but he will always tell you another thing. If you want to hold a delegate conference, must you go and declare yourself President inside one toilet? Who are the delegates? Who were the press people that came to cover it?
‘He claimed the election took place, who were the people present? No election took place. From the information I’m hearing, he was the one that declared himself unopposed. But I say it’s a rumour until I hear him say so. The fact is that Pretty and his accomplices are on the run’ he said speaking on some shocking revelations that might also raise tension in the music industry.
Also, the Governor of FCT PMAN, Solomon Nda-Isaiah has called for calm in his camp after news of Pretty Okafor inaugurating another faction in the FCT emerges. Though the lady posing as the factional governor was among those who elected the incumbent, yet she went ahead and agreed to work with him.
Mr. Nda-Isaiah promised his continued support and commitment for the association despite the fact that some unscrupulous element are trying to tear the chapter into pieces for their selfish aims.
In his words:
‘We will never disappoint you who legally elected us into office to fight for your right in this music industry especially after the demise of my predecessor, the late Collins Adeyemi, May his soul rest in peace. I rededicate myself to this association promising that my slogan, ‘I’m on a rescue mission’ still stand.
‘I pray that the day will come when all FCT musicians will walk with their heads held-up high. I’m creating an enabling environment to enable us achieve our goals in the industry. Soon we will conduct fresh elections to usher in new leaders. We call on all those who feel they are worthy enough to stir the ship of the association to come contest because this is a change era and we will do everything in the open,’ he promised.
He also reassures all those using the name of the association for their personal gains to desist or would face the full wrath of the law.
Similarly, the Secretary of the association, Saint Moko, encourages all artistes in the FCT to be serious with their work so as to enable them archive the needed goal. He also call on them and those factionalising the association to unite to move the association forward especially now that there would be a national election that would usher in new National Executives.
Effort to reach Pretty Okafor to comment on the issues was not forthcoming as his number wasn’t connecting at the time of filing this report.