Ex-MP Robert Oimeke jailed for receiving bribe
Former Bonchari lawmaker Parvel Robert Oimeke has been slapped with a fine of Sh1 million for receiving a Sh200,000 bribe to authorize the reopening of a petrol station in Homa Bay county.
He will serve a three-year jail term if he fails to pay the fine.
Anti-Corruption court senior principal magistrate Peter Ooko who convicted and sentenced Oimeke said he betrayed the trust bestowed upon him as a civil servant.
Penalizing Oimeke, Mr Ooko said civil servants must at all times discharge their public duties without indulging themselves in graft deals as it soils and paints a grim picture of the government.
Oimeke received the bribe when he was the Director General of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) in 2020.
The magistrate convicted the former law maker in the offence of receiving the bribe but acquitted him over the offence of demanding a bribe of Sh500,000 from a petroleum dealer, Mr Wyclife Odhiambo Oyoo.
Mr Ooko ruled the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that Oimeke received the Sh200,000 by producing electronic evidence.
The court also said the prosecution produced a transcription of the conversation between Oimeke and the complainant.
Acquiting Oimeke in the count of demanding a bribe of Sh500,000 the magistrate said the prosecution failed to tender electronic evidence in its bid to show the MP had solicited the money.
“I hereby acquit the accused on first count of demanding a bribe of Sh500,000. I however, find him guilty of the second count of receiving a bribe of Sh200,000. I convict him accordingly”, the magistrate ruled.
The DPP asked court to consider that the accused person is a first offender while imposing sentence.
The court was further urged to consider the nature of the offence as he committed the offence when he was still a government official.
In mitigation, Oimeke pleaded for mercy saying he regrets the offence and is remorseful.
He said as a result of the incident he lost his job.
“He is now conscious of the actions and pleads with this court to exercise leniency while passing sentence,” his lawyer mitigated.
Ooko heard, Oimeke is a family man and with several dependants relying on him.
At the time of the commission of the offence, Oimeke served as the Director General of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).
He received the Sh200,000 bribe in order to authorize the unsealing and re-opening of a filling station in Homa Bay county which had been closed for non-compliance with EPRA regulations.
In the judgement, the magistrate noted the submissions by the defence had glaring contradictions on where the money was recovered from.
The Homabay filling station had been fined Ksh 309,000 by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for flouting the EPRA regulations.
Oimeke, then EPRA Director General, received Sh200,000 as ‘facilitation fee’ in order to open the station.
Mr Ooko said in the whole saga no money was lost since the Sh200,000 given to Oimeke was marked currency from the EACC given to the complainant to hand over to the accused.
All the marked notes were recovered from Oimeke immediately he received it.