Oimeke was the EPRA boss between 2017 and 2020
Former director-general of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), Robert Oimeke, who is also the former Bonchari Member of Parliament, has been found guilty of pocketing a bribe of Sh200,000 in December 2020.
Oimeke was accused of taking the bribe to reopen a petrol station in Oyugis, Homa Bay County, that had been closed for violating regulations. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) confirmed the news of the sentencing, which came on Tuesday, March 28.
According to the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission, Oimeke received the bribe on December 10, 2020, while he was still the director-general of EPRA, which has broad powers over the energy and petroleum sector.
The Homabay filling station had been fined Sh309K by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), which was paid and the complainant issued with a clearance letter to take to EPRA to authorize opening.
Oimeke, then EPRA Director General, allegedly demanded a Sh200,000 ‘facilitation fee’ in order to open the station.
The owner of the station, who was armed with a recording device in collaboration with the EACC officers to prove that he had indeed received the money, reported that the former MP asked for the bribe.
READ: EACC forges alliance with FBI
However, Oimeke maintained his innocence alleging that he had been falsely accused by detectives who arrested him adding that he had no knowledge of an envelope with the money found on his desk by detectives.
After the passing of Bonchari Constituency’s MP Oroo Oyioka, he decided to participate in the by-election held in May 2021 and emerged victorious as through an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket
Having lost the ODM ticket, Oimeke opted not to run for re-election in the August 2022 elections.
Oimeke will now serve three years in prison or pay a fine of Sh1 million.