Former Bonchari MP Robert Pavel Oimeke has been jailed to three years in prison with an option of a Ksh1 million fine for the offence of demanding a Ksh500,000 bribe.
Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Ooko on Tuesday, March 28 slapped the former MP with the jail term after finding him g****y of the corruption charge.
“I find the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the Oimenke demanding a bribe of Ksh500,000 from the complainant. I, therefore, find him g****y and consequently convict him of the offence,” the magistrate Oimenke ruled.
The magistrate however acquitted Oimeke on the first count of receiving a Ksh200,000 bribe.
Ooko noted that the prosecution failed to prove its case.
“I hereby acquit the accused on the first count under section 215 of the CPC, however, I find him g****y of the second count and convict him accordingly,” Magistrate Ooko ruled
The former MP had demanded a bribe from the complainant Wycliffe Odhiambo to enable him to authorize the reopening of a Petrol station in Oyugis Homa Bay county in 2020.
It is said Oimenke committed the offence when he was the Director General of the Energy Petroleum and Regulatory Authority ( EPRA).
According to prosecution witnesses including an officer from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, they claim that Oimenke received the bribe delivered to him at his former office in Upper Hill by the complainant.
The witnesses informed the court that had sought a Ksh 500,000 bribe from the complainant in order for him to authorize the reopening of the petrol station.
In his testimony, investigator, Mike Mbuvi attached at EACC, told the court that they used Ksh200,000 to trap the former Bonchari MP as he sought the half a million bribe from the victim.
The officer also stated they arrested the MP in his former office and that they recovered the Ksh200,000 treat money which they had given to the complainant Wycliffe Odhiambo to give him as a bribe to the former Director General EPRA to approve the opening of a petrol station.
“We recovered the treated operational money Ksh200,000 from Oimenke office and we arrested him,” Mbuvi said.
The court heard that bribe money was found stashed in an upper locker on the left-hand side of Oimenke’s office desk.
Odhiambo had reported to the EACC integrity centre that Oimenke had demanded a bribe to enable him to authorize the reopening of a petrol station in Oyugis Homa bay county.
The officer produced as evidence the inventory of the treat money in the domination of Ksh1000 as exhibited in the case.
The court heard that the MP had requested the bribe via a signal private messenger App on his mobile phone.
The officer said they had a***d the complainant with a recording d****e to capture their conversation with Oimenke and Odhiambo as proof that the MP demanded and received the money on December 12, 2020.
Odhiambo, who is an employee of the filling station in Oyugis, had been at EPRA offices on December 1 and 12, 2020, seeking to have their petrol station suspension lifted.
Odhiambo who also testified in the case said that on December 12, 2020, he handed over the Ksh200,000 at Oimeke’s office consequently the approval letter was issued to him after the bribe.
The filling station in Oyugis had previously been closed after being fined in a case involving possessing super export petrol.
After paying Ksh309,842 to KRA and later issuing a clearance letter; the station through Odhiambo opted to go through the EPRA DG to get authorisation for reopening.
EPRA intentionally delayed releasing the authorisation prompting the staff from the filling station to visit the regulatory body and initiate communication.
In his judgement, the magistrate rejected Oimenke’s defence that he had been framed by detectives who stormed his office and arrested him.
But noted that in the submissions by the defence, there were contradictions on where the money was recovered from.
During his defence hearing, Oimenke who did not call any witness had claimed that he was surprised to find an envelope inside a drawer in his office and that he neither knew who brought neither it nor its contents.
He further alleged that he picked up the envelope with his left hand despite the Government Chemist Analyst Report confirming that both his hands had traces of APQ powder, a c******l used in such operations.
In mitigation, the MP sought leniency saying he was remorseful.
“I’m very remorseful. And l since lost my job, l am now conscious of my actions and pleaded with the court for a lenient sentence,” Oimenke stated.
The prosecution however urged the court to mete out a sentence that will send a warning to all those p****e who intended to commit or commit such offences.
The court was further urged to consider the nature of the offence as he was still a government official at the time of committing the offence.