Court slaps Nana Oye with GH₵5K cost, dismisses suit against ex-husband

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

Nana Oye Bampoe Addo per the suit filed on April 25, 2024, was seeking some $1.5 million in damages against the former husband following a divorce action.

Justice Rev. Joseph Owusu-Adu Agyemang while ruling on the matter said, no action of defamation can be found in the allegations made against the veteran legal practitioner.

The Court also said, no court should allow parties to open this Pandora’s box in a suit of that nature and that, the petition for divorce and it reply are judicial documents.

A cost of GH₵5, 000 was awarded against Nana Oye Bampoe Addo after lawyers of Tony Lithur had requested for GH₵20, 000.

Nana Oye Lithur’s lawyers offered to pay GH₵1, 000.

*Tony Lithur’s argument*

Agyenim Agyei Boateng, Counsel for Tony Lithur, who was holding brief for Osafo Buabeng said, their application was premised on “Order 11 rule 18(1)(a)(b)(d) of the high court civil procedure rules 2004 (CI47).

“We have an application before you this morning (Monday, Amy 27, 2014) for an order to strike out Plaintiff’s (Nana Oye Bampoe Addo’s) pleading and to dismiss Plaintiff’s suit against the Defendant (Tony Lithur),” Counsel moved.

He said, the contention of Mr. Tony Lithur is that the Plaintiff’s writ of summons and statement of claim filed on April 25, 2024, “does not disclose any reasonable cause of action against the defendant.”

He also argued that the pleadings are frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the Court process.

“…The Plaintiff has filed an action for defamation but clearly on the face of her pleadings the entirety of the action is premised on facts contained or averred to in the divorce petition filed by the defendant (Tony Lithur) herein,” he argued.

Counsel submitted that, the Plaintiff Respondent (Nana Oye) makes copious reference to the petition and to the reply filed by the defendant applicant (Tony Lithur).

“My lord, I refer the court to paragraph 6-28 of the Plaintiff Statement of Case all of which refer or relate to matters contained in the defendant’s petition and reply.

“That being the case, the law is clear that an action for libel or any action for defamation does not lie where the basis of the action is matters contained in judicial processes and procedures,” he argued.

*Halsbury Law of England principles*

While referring to Halsbury Laws of England (4th edition) page 47 paragraph 97, counsel said, no action lies whether against judges, counsel, jury, witnesses or parties for words spoken in the ordinary cause of any proceedings before any court or judicial tribunal recognized by law.

“The privilege extends to documents properly used and regularly prepared for use in the proceedings,” adding that “Advocates, judges and jurors are covered by this case.”

He further submitted that, “what the authors are telling us which would be of a persuasive authority to this court is that the content of judicial processes are covers by privilege and therefore a party is immune for an action in a defamation contained in those judicial processes.”

“The point being made before you today(May 27) is that to the extent that the whole of plaintiffs action is grounded on matters contained in judicial proceedings and processes, the law does not support the action and in fact there is no action in law against the defendant applicant,” Counsel submitted.

“It is apparent without recourse to anything more than the Plaintiff own Statement of Claims that the instant action seeks to hold liable the Defendant-Applicant on matters which are privileged and for which an action cannot lie in law, the instance suit therefore discloses no reasonable cause of action under the law against the defendant.

“It is the very definition of an abuse of the courts process,” Counsel submitted.

*Application Incompetent & defective*

the substance of the application is that, “in the face of the 1992 Constitution any notion on common law privilege, that seeks to absolutely protect or make new any willful deliberate and malicious conduct, which denigrates a person, from action by that person to vindicate their rights, is inconsistent with and contravention of article 15(1)(2)(b).”

“A person cannot in the face of these constitutional provisions be allowed to willfully and deliberately and maliciously defame someone and to affect their dignity and reputation in the face of right thinking members in the society and seek to shield themselves under a notion of absolute privilege propounded in the 17th century,” Counsel submitted.

“We submit that such a notion of absolute privilege will be unconstitutional and to that extent null and void.

“We submit that the Plaintiff has adequately by the Statement of Claim demonstrated the existence of reasonable cause of action which this court must proceed to hear and determine.

“It is our submission that the two decisions of the two coordinates cited to you is of no binding effect and at best is of persuasive value

Counsel said, “in the Shantel Kudjawu case is not binding authority and it is not in accord with the laid down principles concerning the matters as arisen there and this court should not be led to fall into the same pit.”

“We submit that the instance application as has been shown here, is procedurally incompetent and therefore not properly before this court.

“We also state that it is substantively of no value and we prayed that the instance application be dismissed for the suit to be heard,” Counsel submitted.


On April 25, 2024, the former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo initiated the legal action against her former husband Tony Lithur for libel.

She was demanding the action filed on April 24, 2024, damages in a total sum of $1.5 million dollars.

According to Nana Oye Bampoe, her reputations have been injured by the former husband, who had filed an action seeking divorce.

The two were customarily married on April 14, 1991, and the marriage was converted into ordinance marriage by the parties in January 1998 and on May 2, 2018.

Mr Lithur (defendant) then filed a petition for divorce against Nana Oye (plaintiff), which was part heard and yet to be concluded.

Nana Oye said in the divorce petition that, the defendant made false averments and cause the defamatory words to be published.


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