Jones Day recognized for training of prosecutors and defense counsel in Nigeria
Judge Ann Claire Williams (Ret.), Of Counsel in Jones Day's Chicago Office, and Aaron Agenbroad, Partner-in-Charge of the Firm’s San Francisco Office, were recently recognized for their work in Lagos, Nigeria, where they conducted a weeklong training program for nearly 60 prosecutors and defense counsel.
Led by Judge Williams, head of the Firm’s pro bono Rule of Law in Africa initiative, the training focused on enhancing trial advocacy skills, forensics, plea bargaining, and restorative justice. The program was conducted in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Lagos State Office of the Public Defender, the U.S. National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), and Lawyers Without Borders. In addition to Jones Day and NITA attorneys, trainers came from the Nigerian judiciary; the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse, a court-connected alternate dispute resolution center; and the Justice Defenders and Pepea Trust restorative justice programs in Kenya.
Olubunmi Adenike Adesomoju, Director of the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD), recognized the Firm and the trainers for their “support and contribution toward capacity building and the promotion of justice,” and added, “OPD will surely continue to raise the bar in public defense in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole because we have the best tutors.”
OPD Assistant Director Yetunde Ajayi said, “The skills and knowledge you impart will continue to be our greatest asset throughout our careers. You revolutionize our method of advocacy and are an integral part of the success of the OPD, and we look forward to many more years of partnership with you.”
Remarking on their work in Nigeria, Mr. Agenbroad added, “The training was one of the best experiences in my 25-year legal career. The talent, dedication and efforts of the participants was an inspiration, as is their commitment to strengthening the rule of law and legal process in Nigeria. The welcome they provided and the friendship and appreciation they showed throughout the week was moving. It was one of the best weeks of my life, and I’ll be forever moved by the program.”
Judge Williams heads Jones Day's efforts in advancing the rule of law in Africa, where she is devoted to promoting the effective delivery of justice. She has partnered with judiciaries, attorneys, NGOs, and the U.S. Departments of Justice and State to lead training programs in Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. She also has taught at the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
Jones Day has conducted three separate in-person training programs for prosecutors and public defenders in Nigeria, and Firm attorneys also led a virtual training program for Ogun State, Nigeria prosecutors in 2021 during the pandemic. Hundreds of attorneys from across Nigeria have been trained through these efforts.