Govt Agency Director Linked to Number Plate Scam Fired Silently

  • John Akoten, former Anti-Counterfeit Agency acting CEO.
    John Akoten, former Anti-Counterfeit Agency acting CEO.
    File
  • A government agency director was silently fired from his job after it emerged that he was linked to a fake number plates scam.

    A report by Daily Nation on Sunday, October 25, indicated that John Akoten was fired from his position as the acting Executive Director of the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA).

    This was after it was reported that Akoten was accused of taking part in a fake number plates scam in 2016 when he allegedly faked a number plate for his official car.

    The embattled official was removed from the position late last month and replaced by Fridah Kaberia.

    Two vehicles with similar number plates at Nairobi County Police headquarters on November 19, 2018.
    Two vehicles with similar number plates at Nairobi County Police headquarters on November 19, 2018.
    File

    Kaberia is expected to hold the acting position for six months before the scheduled date when the agency is expected to merge with two others - e parastatal reforms.

    "As the acting Executive Director, Kaberia will provide leadership by overseeing the overall corporate strategy and seamless service delivery in the fight against counterfeits for six months pending the finalisation of the merger of Kenya Industrial Property Institute, Kenya Copyright Board and the Anti-Counterfeit Agency," read a memo in part.

    Akoten had been appointed to the position after former boss Elema Halake went on terminal leave.

    Notably, in 2016, Akoten was embroiled in a controversial fake number plates scandal that saw him overlooked and Halake promoted to CEO ahead of him.

    Having served as Deputy Director at the ACA, he was almost certain to take up the top post prior to the number plates scandal.

    Akoten's fake number plates saga made headlines in December 2016, when his government-issued Volkswagen Passat was involved in an accident.

    The accident raised alarm as the car had civilian number plates instead of the blued coded plates reserved for vehicles owned by parastatals.

    Court proceedings, later on, revealed that Akoten had allegedly given his driver Ksh2,500 to buy and fix the fake plates on his government-issued car. It later emerged that the plates were forged in a shop along Kirinyaga Road, Nairobi.

    Kenya's Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) officials marking the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day(WACD) in Nairobi on June 26, 2018.
    Kenya's Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) officials marking the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day(WACD) in Nairobi on June 26, 2018.
    File