Judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at a plenary sitting have elected Justice Chile Eboe-Osuji, a Nigerian as the president of the court for a three-year term.
Judge Robert Fremr from the Czech Republic was elected First Vice-President with Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut of France as Second Vice-President.
Chile Eboe-Osuji, who became the first Nigerian to be elevated to the court in 2012, would serve as ICC president for the next three years.
“I am deeply honoured to have been elected by my peers as President of the International Criminal Court. As I take up my duties, I feel encouraged that I am able to rely on the wide experience of the two Vice-Presidents, Judge Robert Fremr and Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, both of whom I have closely worked with previously. I look forward to working together with them as well as with all the judges, all the Officials and the staff of the Court in a spirit of collegiality.
I also look forward to collaborating with the Assembly of States Parties, civil society and the international community at large, acting together to strengthen and reinforce the Rome Statute system, the 20th anniversary of the adoption of which we celebrate this year.
I am also grateful to the previous President, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, and Vice-Presidents, Judges Joyce Aluoch and Kuniko Ozaki, for their work and leadership.”
The Role of the ICC Presidency
The ICC Presidency – consisting of the President and the two Vice-Presidents – plays a key role in providing strategic leadership to the ICC as a whole.
The Presidency coordinates with the other organs and seeks the concurrence of the Prosecutor on matters of mutual concern.
In accordance with the Rome Statute, the ICC’s governing treaty, the Presidency is responsible for the proper administration of the Court, with the exception of the Office of the Prosecutor.
The Presidency oversees the activities of the Registry and provides input into a broad range of administrative policies affecting the Court’s overall functioning.
Furthermore it conducts judicial review of certain decisions of the Registrar and concludes Court-wide cooperation agreements with States and international organizations.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established on 17 July 1998, by a conference of 160 States which established the first treaty-based permanent international criminal court. The treaty adopted during that conference is known as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The court investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.
- The new president holds an LLB from the University of Calabar, Nigeria (1985), an LLM from McGill University, Canada (1991), and a PhD in international criminal law from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2011).
- He was elected to ICC in December 16, 2011, thus making him the first judge of Nigerian descent in that Court. He won the office in the fifteenth ballot in the Assembly of States Parties with 102 votes.
- He has taught international criminal law as an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa, Canada, and has an extensive record of legal scholarship and publications.
- Judge Eboe-Osuji served as a legal expert to Nigeria’s delegation to the ICC-ASP Special Working Group on the Definition of the Crime of Aggression and practised law as a barrister, appearing in many criminal, civil and constitutional cases before national courts in Nigeria and Canada.
- Prior to joining the ICC, Judge Eboe-Osuji was the Legal Advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, during which time he led the writing of submissions to the European Court of Human Rights and the United States Supreme Court.
- He also served as the Principal Appeals Counsel for the Prosecution in the Charles Taylor Case at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (2007-2008) and has held several posts at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, including Head of Chambers (2008-2010) and Lead Prosecution Trial Counsel (2000-2003).
Towards efficient dispensation of justice, the Lagos State Government (LASG) has inaugurated four special courts solely for the prosecution of sexual offences and corruption cases.
The two courts will adjudicate on special offences (economic and financial crimes), while the two others will try sexual offences.
The sexual offences court is the first of its kind in Nigeria.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Oluranti Adebule, said Lagos was collaborating with the British Council under the Rule of Law Anti-Corruption Programme to provide technical support for the anti-corruption fight.
The Governor further stated:
“The state collaborates with such agencies charged with the investigation and prosecution of corruption offences by providing an enabling environment in terms of responding to inquiries and providing information to anti-graft agencies.
I am particularly glad about the designation of two courts to handle sexual related offences as it complements our fight against sexual abuse.
These sexual offences courts will have trained and experienced prosecutors to interact with survivors, provide support and ensure timely prosecution of the cases.
Between 2015 and now, the DSVRT and Mirabel Centre have handled over 400 cases of sexual offences while 376 cases are being prosecuted in the various courts.
With a dedicated court now in place to handle these cases, l am sure that these cases will get the attention they deserve.
We have awarded the contract for the expansion of the operations of the DNA and Forensic Centre and Chemistry Section.
This will automatically place Lagos as one of the leading centres for forensics in Africa.”
Funlola Odunlami, the Solicitor-General of Lagos, lauded the Lagos State Government for being the first state to implement the initiative of the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
In her words:
“Lagos leads and other states follow, Governor Ambode is very passionate about issues relating to domestic and sexual violence; he led the walk `Say No to Domestic and Sexual Violence’ and he is passionate about the work of the DSVRT.
We have to make sure that in Lagos State perpetrators of sexual crimes no longer exists.
Members of the public can dial #6280*, text ABUSE to 6280 either on MTN or Airtel or call the DSVRT on 0813796004, individuals can dial 112 which is a toll free line.
Laboratories and Forensic Centers were created to audition victims of sexual violence.
Payments and digital financial services company, Paga, has been certified by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council as (PCIDSS) level one compliant.
This implies that the Nigerian payments and digital financial services company’s platform has been put through series of rigorous tests and proven to meet global security standards as defined by the PCI security standard council, which consists of credit card providers such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB.
PCIDSS publishes and mandates security standards for parties, who handle credit card information, confidential bank account information with a focus on improving account security throughout the transaction processes.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the certified company Tayo Oviosu, said:
“We are very pleased with this certification. This is vital for the next evolution of Paga, as it shows our security credibility and further demonstrates our commitment to delivering digital financial services at world class security standards. Nigerians can feel very comfortable saving their confidential card and bank details on Paga.
Then rather than giving those details out on websites or to third party applications customers simply use their Paga account and choose how they want to fund the transaction.
The protection provided by Paga will help expand use and adoption of e-commerce and mobile applications. We have seen similar in other parts of the world with PayPal and AliPay. Now, Paga brings the same level of world class payments service and security to Nigeria.”
Funke Abimbola-Akindolie has been conferred the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Prince Charles of England at the Buckingham Palace.
The multiple award-winning Nigerian, who is also the founder of the International Women Leader in Life Sciences Network, was honoured because of her numerous contribution to “help diversify the legal profession”.
Profile of Funke Abimbola-Akindolie
- Funke attended Burgess Hill School, West Sussex from 1986-1991. She then attended the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne from 1991-1994 where she obtained her LLB Hons degree.
- She worked as an Assistant Solicitor at Campbell Hooper from February 2001-2005. She then moved to the firm of Picton Solicitors where she worked as assistant solicitor January 2006-Dec 2007. From January 2008- 2011, Funke was a senior solicitor at IBB solicitors.
- In January 2012, she resumed at Roche as Managing Counsel for UK and Ireland. From June 2015-November 2015 she acted as Company Secretary and in December 2015 she was promoted to her current position of General Counsel and Company Secret
- Funke Abimbola-Akindolie is currently the General Counsel and Head of Financial Compliance at Roche, making her the most senior lawyer in the world’s largest biotech firm.
Funke Abimbola-Akindolie’s recognition in legal directories
- Leading in-house lawyer, Legal 500 directory since 2012
- Leading lawyer from a black ethnic minority background, Black Letter Law since 2012
- Expert in corporate/M&A law, Chambers legal directory 2012
- Listed in “Who’s who in the law” Legal 500 directory since 2011
- Recommended for commercial law, Legal 500 directory 2011
- In 2014 she was invited to join the Innovative GC (General Counsel) Club following her ranking in the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers report.
Awards and recognitions
- 2016 Women4Africa – Recognition award for outstanding achievements and contributions
- 2015 Positive Role Model (Gender) Award, National Diversity Awards 2015 – Winner
- Career Woman of the Year Award, Women4Africa 2015 – Winner
- Outstanding Woman in Professional Services, Precious Awards 2015 – Winner
- Inspiring Member of the Year, Inclusive Network Awards 2015 – Winner
- Top 30 Inspirational Woman Champion of Diversity, Brummell Magazine 2015
- Outstanding Mother of the Year Award, Women4Africa 2015 – Finalist
- Diversity Champion of the Year, Excellence in Diversity Awards 2015 – Finalist
- Most Innovative European in-house legal team, Financial Times (Innovative Lawyer Awards) – 2015 ranking
- STEM Leader of the Year, Black British Business Awards 2015 – Finalist
- Certificate of Merit, British Citizen Awards 2015
- Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts
In her spare time, the Member of the Order of the British Empire awardee works as a volunteer for various organizations including Friends of Cancer, Research, UK, Speakers for Schools and Aspiring Solicitors.