The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) Director-General (DG) Robert Pavel Oimeke was on Thursday, December 10, arrested by detectives from the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC).
Oimeke was allegedly caught soliciting a Ksh200,000 bribe to approve the opening of a petrol station.
The detectives pounced on him after they received a complaint from an employee of the station. The employee had been asked for the bribe so as to be issued with a letter to re-open business.
Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority Director General Pavel Oimeke addresses the media on the new LPG cylinders interchange regulation
The petrol station had been shut down after it was fined for selling petrol meant for export.
“The station was fined Sh309,842.00 by KRA which they later paid and were issued with a clearance letter to be taken to the DG EPRA to enable him to authorize the opening of the station,” reads the statement by EACC.
EPRA is said to have intentionally delayed realising the authorisation.
On Thursday, undercover investigators accompanied the complainant to the authority, where he had gone with Ksh200,000 as had been demanded.
“After a while, the complainant handed over the Sh200,000 at Mr Oimeke’s office consequently the approval letter was issued to him after the bribe,” reads an excerpt the statement.
Oimeke’s arrest came just months after the EPRA board reinstated him as the director-general.
In August 2020, he had been asked to step aside pending the hearing and determination of a court case contesting his appointment as director-general.
He was eligible for a second term but Emmanuel Wanjala rushed to court arguing that the renewal should not be automatic due to allegations of corruption, losses and abuse of office.
The board had asked him to step aside on August 17 pending conclusion of the case and appointed Ms Mueni Mutung’a, the firm’s Corporation Secretary /Director of Legal Affairs, as the director-general in an acting capacity.
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak after presenting a cheque to the Kenya Covid-19 Fund on April 28, 2020.