Former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection under the erstwhile Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, Nana Oye Lithur, has spoken for the first time since news about a purported petition for divorce filed by her husband Tony Lithur hit the media.
She has flatly denied the allegations leveled against her by the husband in the petition filed at the High Court (Divorce and Matrimonial Division) in Accra
The former minister said she would be vindicated at the end of the case.
“In the past 24 hours, I have been overwhelmed by calls from friends and family expressing concern about the divorce petition filed by my husband,” she said.
“I would like to assure everyone that by the grace of God, I am fine. Thank you for your prayers, support and show of love.”
She said “It’s unfortunate that a private family matter should now become a subject public discussion. Everyone who knows me and everything I stand for will know that the unfortunate allegations against me cannot be true.”
“There is no doubt that these are trying times for my family; and I would like to count on your prayers especially for our children.”
“As a lawyer of 25 years standing, I have a firm belief in the legal system and in God Almighty to vindicate the truth.”
On Tuesday evening, social and later mainstream media were inundated with the purported leaked docket copy of the petition by Mr. Lithur against the former minister, lawyer cum gender activist after about 27 years of marriage.
Mr. Lithur, who defended then President John Dramani Mahama in the landmark 2012 Presidential Election Petition at the Supreme Court, reportedly filed at the petition on May 2, 2018 and the documents revealed what can be described as explosive contents as grounds for the divorce.
Serious allegations like infidelity, aggressive or violent behavior, abuse, pilfering, and non financial commitment to the household, among others, are flying in Mr. Lithur’s suit although the respondent Nana Oye Lithur, a popular human rights activist and lawyer, is yet to file her response.
Unconfirmed reports said a colleague lawyer, who was also part of the NDC team that defended the party during the Presidential Election Petition heard in 2013, has allegedly been mentioned in the particulars as having an affair with a party in the case.
The entitlement a party is expected to receive at the end of the case is believed to run into millions of Cedis.
Mr. Lithur, who was the Board Chairman of Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) during the previous Mahama administration, confirmed recently that the suit is pending before the court, but in an emotional press release, he requested privacy for the family.
“My attention has been drawn to the publication on social media of the docket copy of a petition divorce I have filed against Nana Oye Lithur at the Divorce and Matrimonial Division of the High Court, Accra and some pictures of us. While acknowledging the existence of the filed petition, I would like to say that the process is an emotional and difficult one for us and our children,” he said, adding “I would, therefore, very respectfully and humbly, ask the general public to kindly give us, our children and loved ones, some privacy to deal quietly with this painful stage of our lives.”
The petitioner’s suit was filed through his lawyer, O. K. Osafo Buaben of Oseawuo Chambers & Co.
The Lithurs, considered a power couple in the country, have been married for 27 years, first under customary law on April 14, 1991 and subsequently under ordinance at Christ the King Church, January 16, 1997.
The petitioner stated that he took the final decision to commence divorce proceedings in 2017 soon after his wife had informed him that she was buying a mansion in South Africa for between $350,000 and $600,000 amidst other juicy bombshell revelations about their relationship which has obviously gone sour.
The leakage of the court documents has sparked heated debate, as some have argued that matrimonial cases are supposed to be heard in private and not necessarily for public consumption.
However, others are of the cynical view that the parties involved are public figures and a case involving them should be of public interest.