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|Exclusive: PMAN House Of Drama; Pretty Okafor, Others Recent Election Hangs... by doggone: 11:17pm On Nov 27, 2023
PMAN House of Drama; Pretty Okafor, Others Recent Election Hangs In The Balance
Going by a court judgment delivered in Ibadan, Oyo State, on February 6, 2020, and the recent petition against the national president of PMAN (Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria), Pretty Okafor, and the general secretary of the association, Boniface Itodo, over alleged misappropriation of N135mn and $50,000, the election that returned the two embattled executive members and several others, including Ruggedman, real names Michael Stephen, Sunny Nneji and all the other winners in the controversial election, may be a sham and the victorious musicians may be living on borrowed times as they may be unceremoniously kicked out of the Lekki secretariat of the music association anytime from now.
Recall that #GhostNote242 on Instagram broke the news of the petition made by former treasurer of the association, Asha Fapohunda, to the zonal chairman of the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) in Ibadan two weeks ago.
The National Industrial Court judgment, delivered by Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale, empowered Pretty Okafor, Sunny Nneji, Zaaky Azay, Asha Fapohunda, Boniface Itodo, Innocent Idibia, M.I. Abaga, Gabriel Amayin, Arthor Pepple, Michael Stephen and Tunde Omitogun; all members of the NWC (National Working Committee) three years ago, “to steer, pilot, direct, run and lead PMAN at the national level, and to have supervisory power on all the state chapters for four years, after which a credible election shall be conducted on the expiration of the said four years” of the association. However, on October 26, 2023, it was alleged that Okafor conducted an election by presenting handpicked delegates from each state to conduct the infamous election that returned him to power for another four years, in utter disregard to the Court’s judgment that an election be held after four years, which will be 2024, and not 2023.
In his petition to the EFCC, Asha pleaded to the Commission to investigate the mismanagement of N135,000,000 MN and $50,000 by both the national president and general secretary of the association. The petition, dated 7th November 2023, alleged that the president and the secretary opened a separate account with a third generation bank where the money was paid into, instead of the account known to all the executive members of PMAN without notifying the association.
Further in the petition, Fapohunda alleged that the NWC appointed Olusco Homes, FCT, as property manager of what remains of the land, with stern instructions to the agent to “always remit money from the property to PMAN’s bank account, but Okafor and Itodo gave a contrary instruction to the property manager that the proceeds be paid into another account that was opened with the same bank without NWC’s knowledge.” The petition revealed that many of such underhand dealings had been going on for four years, and Okafor allegedly thwarted all efforts to audit the income and expenditure of the association.
“In preparation to holding that election next year, I demanded for the record books so we can have something to hand over to the next executive members. To my shock, Pretty and Itodo refused to allow me to audit the account. That was the beginning of my troubles with the president. In my private investigations, I discovered that a lot of fund misappropriation had taken place. A third generation bank was used to perpetrate the fraud. As we speak, N135mn and $50,000 is missing. It is because he wants to cover his track that he held the election that returned him on October 24, 2023
“Ignore the media report that he had no intention of re-contesting, but his friends pressured him to contest. Who are those friends? They are the delegates he handpicked without the knowledge of other NWC members. I want to exit PMAN on a clean note. Nobody fought to have Pretty return. It’s all bullshit. And guess what? I am not the only one who wants to leave with his head held up high. There are many others who want this. Nobody wants to be dragged into controversial issues when another regime takes over,” said Asha.
Mr Okafor returned as PMAN president after 8 years in office, which is against the two terms of four years allowed by the constitution of the association. “He is on a third term, even though what we had couldn’t be said to be an election because it was not publicized, and neither constitutional”, said another unhappy executive member of PMAN.
By Ayoola Adamolekun
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