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NewsNana Oye Bampoe seeks legal action against ex-husband, seeking $1.5m in damages

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Nana Oye Bampoe seeks legal action against ex-husband, seeking $1.5m in damages

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A former Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection during John Dramani Mahama’s administration, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo, has filed a lawsuit against her former husband, Tony Lithur, accusing him of damaging her reputation both nationally and internationally.

As reported by The Chronicle newspaper, the former minister is seeking general damages amounting to US$500,000.00 and exemplary damages of US$1 million from her ex-husband, who also serves as a lawyer for former President John Mahama.

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The report states that this legal action stems from the “allegedly malicious content” of the divorce petition filed by Mr. Lithur on May 2, 2018, to dissolve their 27-year marriage.

Nana Oye claims that this has led to significant harm to her reputation and has caused her to be subjected to public ridicule and scorn.

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“The divorce petition, which was variously reported by the media, said the Plaintiff was lazy, irresponsible mother, 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 that she is cruel and violent philanderer, adulteress, human rights violator, mean and wicked person and unfit to hold public office.

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“In reference to the divorce petition, the former minister said her ex-husband accused her, as a human rights lawyer, of an act of cruelty and violence including pouring water, beating, slapping and using her fingernails to harm their domestic staff,” portions of the newspaper story said.

The plaintiff further stated that her ex-husband’s claim that she traveled to South Africa with the intention of purchasing an investment property worth between US$350,000 and US$500,000 immediately after leaving political office in 2017 could imply that she engaged in corrupt practices and misused her position to embezzle public funds.

The suit, dated April 25, 2024 indicated that “Due to the false averments and publications of acquisition of investment property in South Africa by Defendant, the Office of the Special Prosecutor instituted investigations into corruption and corruption related offences, money laundering and illegal acquisition of property in South Africa against the Plaintiff, and Plaintiff was investigated and subsequently admitted to bail.

“The Office of the Special Prosecutor published a pending case against the Plaintiff and Plaintiff had to engage legal services to defend herself.”

Nana Oye stated that the Defendant published these defamatory words, knowing very well that it was not true, but with the sole intention to cause considerable damage to and to disparage her reputation.

According to her, the publication of the petition resulted in inundation of phone calls, insults and humiliation, avoiding certain public appearances, and quitting lecturing in some tertiary institutions.

Nana Oye said constantly she has to deal with answering embarrassing questions and humiliating treatments from strangers, associates, friends, family members, foreigners, some members of the international community, international acquaintances and colleagues.

The Plaintiff alleged that before the marriage went down the hill, the Defendant told her that he would destroy her reputation and would make sure that by the time he was through with her, there will be no reputation for her to cling on.

The Plaintiff, therefore, contends that Mr. Lithur acted deliberately and maliciously in publishing the said defamatory words, which he knew were false.

Furthermore, the Defendant sought to and deliberately published false averments in his divorce petition and reply to annihilate, malign and destroy Plaintiff’s reputation, her professional career in human rights and her public life.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lithur made the false claims when he knew there was no basis for the said defamatory statements and publications and he knew his averments and publications would be believed by the general public and beyond because of his stature as a senior lawyer.

Nana Oye is seeking four reliefs; including general damages of US$500,000.00 in respect of libel contents contained in paragraph 8 and 9, and exemplary damages of US$1,000,000.00 for libel contents in the defendant/petitioner’s reliefs.

She also wants a perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant jointly and severally “either by himself and or his assign(s) from further making any averments or publishing or causing to be published, the said defamatory words or similar words.”

The Plaintiff is seeking a retraction and apology to be published on social media including on Defendant’s Facebook wall, the website of Lithur Brew & Company, the Twitter (now X) and Instagram handles of Defendant, and all his social media handles and on the website of the GhanaWeb, together with the website of Joy FM, Peace FM and Citi FM.

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