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Court throws out Nana Oye’s $1.5m libel suit against ex-husband Tony Lithur

The High Court in Accra has dismissed a suit filed by former Minister for Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo, against her ex-husband, Tony Lithur, citing no reasonable cause of action.

Tony-Lithur-and-Oye-Lithur-

In the suit filed on April 25, 2024, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo sought $1.5 million in damages from her former husband following a divorce.

However, Justice Rev. Joseph Owusu-Adu Agyemang ruled that no defamation could be found in the allegations against the veteran legal practitioner.

The Court emphasized that such a suit should not be allowed to proceed, referring to the petition for divorce and its reply as judicial documents that should remain undisclosed in this context.

EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, reported that the court awarded costs of GH¢5,000 against Nana Oye Bampoe Addo, despite Tony Lithur's lawyers requesting GH¢20,000. The lawyers for Nana Oye Bampoe Addo had offered to pay GH¢1,000.

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Agyenim Agyei Boateng, counsel for Tony Lithur, argued the application based on “Order 11 rule 18(1)(a)(b)(d) of the High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2004 (CI47).”

He moved for an order to strike out Nana Oye Bampoe Addo’s pleading and dismiss her suit, contending that her writ of summons and statement of claim did not disclose any reasonable cause of action against Tony Lithur.

He described the pleadings as frivolous, vexatious, and an abuse of the court process.

Boateng argued that the defamation action was based on facts contained in the divorce petition filed by Tony Lithur. He referred the court to paragraphs 6-28 of Nana Oye Bampoe Addo’s Statement of Case, which related to matters in the divorce petition and reply.

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He maintained that an action for libel or defamation could not be based on matters contained in judicial processes and procedures, thus nullifying the basis of Nana Oye Bampoe Addo’s claims.

This ruling underscores the court's position on maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of judicial documents in defamation cases related to divorce proceedings.

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