According to latest findings by Saturday Beats, the union is currently divided over a land tussle the presnt leadership claims to have been fraudulent taken over by some former executives. The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, recently waded into the crisis.
The IGP’s intervention follows a letter written and sent by the present leadership of PMAN headed by Mr. Pretty Okafor, where a former president of the association, Mr. Tee Mac Itseli, was accused of fraudulently taking custody of a land belonging to the union in Abuja.
According to Okafor, the land measuring over eight hectares and meant for the development of a modern music and entertainment complex, was given to the association by the Federal Government in 1992 and later re-allocated between 1999 and 2003.
He said no individual had the right and power to claim ownership of such asset because it belonged to the organisation.
“While arrangements were being made to develop the place in accordance with the original plan, Mr. Tee Mac Omatshola Itseli in 2010, clandestinely went to the Corporate Affairs Commission and registered the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, using the same acronym,PMAN, with which he deceived the Federal Capital Territory authorities that granted him a certificate of occupancy of the said land.
“The Trade Unions Act, section 20 and as amended, makes it a criminal offence for anybody or group of persons to register an association or union similar to an existing one. Mr. Tee Mac was neither an officer nor an official of PMAN as at 2010 when he did all these things. His action is totally unacceptable,” he said.
But reacting to the allegation, Mr. Itseli told Saturday Beats that the land in question is still registered in the name of the union and that he had never attempted to convert it to his own by any means as he has no power to engage in such unlawful act.
“The land in question is still registered in the name of PMAN, so I don’t know why this type of accusation is directed at me.
“As a law-abiding citizen, I have worked tirelessly to contribute my quota to the development of the association and also music in Nigeria. I have never at any time attempted to take possession of the said land because it belongs to PMAN. I have all the documents to show for it,” he said.
Meanwhile, some stakeholders in the music industry have sued for peace in the organisation. They urged the association to look into critical issues affecting artistes in the country.