The United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon has appointed, Dr. Olufemi Elias of Nigeria as UN Assistant Secretary General and Registrar of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT).
This is coming barely 24 hours after a Nigerian-born Adebayo Ogunlesi, who is the chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm and one of Fortune 500 companies, was named a member of an economic advisory forum to US president-elect Donald Trump.
Elias had until his recent appointment, served in various legal positions in inter-governmental organisations.
He served as the Legal Adviser and a Director of the Hague-based global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). He also served as the Executive Secretary of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal in Washington DC.
Prior to that he held various positions in the UN, as well as an Associate member of the Institut de Droit International; a Visiting Professor of International Law at Queen Mary University of London; and Secretary General of the African Association of International Law and an Executive Member of the American Society of International Law.
The new UN Assistant Secretary-General and a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, holds a law degree from the University of Oxford, an LLM from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from University College London.
The MICT was established by the United Nations Security Council in 2010 to carry out a number of essential functions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), after the completion of their respective mandates.
Reacting to this appointment, the President of the MICT, Judge Theodor Meron said he looked forward to working closely with Elias towards ensuring that the court serves as a model of best practices, being efficient and effective as it carries out the functions entrusted to it.
Elias will replace John Hocking of Australia who previously served in this position.