Two International Criminal Court judges who sat in the post-election violence case against Deputy President William Ruto, have been elected to head the court.
During a plenary of the Hague-based court’s judges on Sunday, Nigeria’s Chile Eboe-Osuji was elected president of the ICC for a three-year term while Czech’s Robert Fremr got the position of first vice president.
Judge Eboe-Osuji who presided over the case against Mr Ruto and former radio presenter Joshua arap Sang, takes over from Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi whose term has expired.
When it comes to matters ICC in Kenya, Mr Eboe-Osuji is among the faces of the court besides chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and her predecessor Luis Moreno Ocampo.
In 2014, the judge, who speaks with a deep, authoritative voice, pulled out of President Kenyatta’s post-election violence case.
He is on the record for reprimanding Kenyan politicians in their clamour against the cases after President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto came to power in 2013. All cases were terminated due to lack of incriminating evidence.
The Sunday elections also saw Kenyan Joyce Aluoch bow out as first vice president after serving in the capacity since 2015.
French Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut took over from Judge Kuniko Ozaki as second vice president.
In a statement sent to newsrooms after the elections, Judge Eboe-Osuji pledged to enhance cooperation among the court’s stakeholders in order to strengthen it.
“I look forward to working together with (the new leadership) 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,” he said.