Troubled Energy & Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) director general Pavel Oimeke has been suspended, and his place taken by Daniel Kiptoo in an acting capacity.
Oimeke’s suspension was not officially announced, but a statement announcing fuel price changes on Monday, December 14, was signed by Daniel Kiptoo, designated as the acting director general.
This comes at a time Oimeke is facing bribery allegations, and spent the weekend behind bars awaiting arraignment.
Mr Daniel Kiptoo is currently the Legal Advisor in the State Department of Petroleum and is also the Chairman of the Government’s First Oil Committee charged with delivery of First Oil for Kenya. The Committee brings together technical officers from different Government Ministries and Agencies.
According to the Ethics and anti-corruption Commission (EACC), Oimeke received a bribe of Ksh200,000 to approve the reopening of a fuel station in Oyugis, Homa Bay County, which the authority had closed.
Following his arrest on Thursday night, Oimeke was detained at the EACC basement cells, awaiting arraignment.
Oimeke’s first term at the helm expired on August 1, but was reappointed for another three-year-term on July 27.
However, a petitioner, Emannuel Wanjala, moved to court to block his re-appointment, accusing him of colluding with illegal LPG dealers, nepotism, tribalism and favouritism.
Oimeke’s job now hangs in the balance, after the board held an emergency meeting over the weekend after his arrest.
It is believed Kiptoo was picked during the emergency meeting, but the board kept the appointment under wraps.