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Sun, Aug

OYE LITHUR’S UGLY SIDE OUT: ‘Violent’ human rights champion chases $500,000 house in South Africa

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Tony Lithur, lawyer for former President John Mahama, has filed a petition at the Divorce and Matrimonial Division of the High Court in Accra seeking to end his 27-year marriage to Nana Oye Lithur. The prominent legal practitioner makes a number of chilling allegations against his wife, who is also a lawyer.

Tony Lithur, lawyer for former President John Mahama, has filed a petition at the Divorce and Matrimonial Division of the High Court in Accra seeking to end his 27-year marriage to Nana Oye Lithur. The prominent legal practitioner makes a number of chilling allegations against his wife, who is also a lawyer.

The allegations appear to cast Nana Oye Lithur in a very different light from that of a publicly acclaimed human rights advocate – the woman whom Ghanaians have known over the years as a leader in the fight against domestic violence.

“Cruel traits”

Mr Lithur states in his petition, signed by his solicitor, O K Osafo Buabeng of Oseawuo Chambers & Co, that after they got married, he began to “notice some unnerving character traits” of his wife.

He explains that even though he was aware that she “was aggressive in approach to many things, nothing prepared him for what he later discovered of her cruel and instinctively violent traits”.

According to Mr Lithur, the former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection has “consistently exhibited physical violence and cruelty” towards everyone who has ever lived with them, “either as household staff or relative”.

He further claims that his defiant wife would “threaten, verbally abuse and physically beat up household staff and her own relatives… on the slightest provocation” when he was absent from their home.

Sack staff

In view of this, all relations of the human rights advocate were eventually compelled to leave the couple’s home. The only relation of Tony Lithur’s who ever lived with them “was so brutally beaten up” that he was obliged to ask the relative to leave the house “for her own safety”.

According to him, but for his frequent interventions, the turnover of household staff would have been hugely disruptive of everyone’s life because his wife threatened to sack staff if provoked even slightly.

“There were many occasions when she even refused to give household staff food as a form of punishment,” the petitioner says of the human rights champion.

Public image

In the petition, Mr Lithur says he repeatedly reminded his wife that her behaviour towards people at home was at odds with her public stance on human rights issues generally, and children’s rights and domestic violence in particular. But that was not enough to change her violent behaviour.

He also accuses her of neglecting her duties as a wife and mother. “She was more interested in her public image, media engagements and public life in general, than home and her motherly and wifely duties,” he says in his petition.

According to Tony Lithur, it became clear to him that his wife “was neither a natural nor attentive mother”. He adds that she did not pay much attention to the passing needs of their children.

The petitioner further alleges that his wife never made any contribution towards their matrimonial and parental expenses.

He therefore begs the court to take into consideration all the income his wife has earned during the better part of her adult working life ‒ including the period she served as a cabinet minister in the previous Mahama government ‒ when it comes to a financial and property settlement.

Taste for property

Mr Lithur believes his wife is in a good financial position, having saved enough money out of her earnings and in view of certain potential ventures.

He notes, for instance, that in the latter part of 2017, she informed him that she had decided to purchase an investment property in South Africa valued at between US$350,000 and $500,000. She subsequently travelled to South Africa to inspect a few properties and showed an interest in them.

According to the petitioner, when he told his wife that he would not be in a position to assist her financially with the purchase because he was “already heavily committed”, she replied “confidently” that she did need his contribution “and that she would be able to meet the range of asking purchase prices”.

Mr Lithur also says his estranged wife informed him that she had given GHC500,000 to her brother, who runs Dalex Financial Services Ltd, to invest for her.

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