Court Throws Out Nana Oye's US$1.5 Million Libel Suit Against Tony Lithur, Fines Her GH¢5000

The High Court in Accra has reportedly dismissed the case of former Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo, who sued her ex-husband, Tony Lithur, for tarnishing her image in Ghana and abroad.

According to Accra-based GHOne TV, the court ruled that there was no justification for the former minister's action, who was demanding general damages of US$500,000.00 and exemplary damages of US$1 million from her ex-husband.

"Accra High Court dismisses $1.5 million suit filed by Nana Oye Bampoe Addo against her ex-husband, Tony Lithur, for no reasonable cause of action," part of a post shared by GHOne TV on Monday, May 27, 2024, reads.

The media house also indicated that the court imposed a GH¢5000 cost on Oye Bampoe Addo.

The ruling of the court comes after Tony Lithur filed a notice of appearance to challenge a libel action brought against him by his former wife, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo, a former gender minister.

In papers filed in April 2024, the former minister, who is also a lawyer, is seeking US$1.5 million in damages for libelous assertions by her former husband in their divorce petition filed years ago.

In Lithur's notice of appearance filed on May 14, 2024, he was seeking "an order dismissing or staying or striking out the Plaintiff's (Nana Oye) writ of summons and statement of claim."

According to Accra-based Starr FM, the motion of appearance was filed in pursuance of Order 11 Rules 18(1)(a)/(b)/(d) and was set to be moved on May 27, 2024.

In his filings, Lithur stated three grounds on which he wanted the matter dismissed, stayed, or struck out.

"Take notice that the Plaintiff shall move the Honourable Court for an order dismissing or staying or striking out the Plaintiff's writ of summons and statement of claim filed on April 25, 2024, on grounds (a) that they do not disclose a reasonable cause of action against the Defendant; and/or (b) that the same are frivolous and vexatious; and/or (c) that they constitute an abuse of the process of the Court; and for such further order(s) as the Court may deem fit," he stated.

Nana Oye Bampoe Addo Drags Ex-Husband to Court in $1.5 Million Damages Suit

At the heart of the latest suit is the "alleged malicious contents of the divorce petition Mr. Lithur filed on May 2, 2018, to end their 27-year-old marriage," a report by The Chronicle newspaper said.

According to Nana Oye, this has since caused her reputational damage at home and abroad.

She added that the divorce has also maliciously caused hatred, ridicule, and public odium against her.

"The divorce petition, which was variously reported by the media, stated that the Plaintiff was a lazy, irresponsible mother, an adulterous, cruel and violent person, as well as engaged in acts that contradict her professional ethics as a human rights lawyer. These claims, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo says, have maliciously injured her image.

"Nana Oye (Plaintiff) said Mr. Lithur's (Defendant) claims could be understood to mean that she is a cruel and violent philanderer, adulteress, human rights violator, mean and wicked person, and unfit to hold public office.

"In reference to the divorce petition, the former minister said her ex-husband accused her, as a human rights lawyer, of acts of cruelty and violence, including pouring water, beating, slapping, and using her fingernails to harm their domestic staff," portions of the suit sighted by GhanaWeb read.