The case in which two persons are being held for the murder of Sidney Thomas Barnes, a British/American Missionary at Nsawam, two years ago was on Wednesday adjourned.
The matter before an Accra District Magistrate Court was adjourned to March 7, following the non appearance of the accused persons in court. The two namely Kofi Seidu, a driver and Reverend Goodwill Padmore have been remanded into lawful custody by the court.
A committal process was expected to have taken place today at the Magistrate Court to enable them stand trial before a High Court in Accra. In June last year, the Attorney General’s (AG) Department recommended that the driver and the Rev Minister should be held for the murder of the missionary at Nsawam in 2010.
It said Kofi Seidu, the driver, and the Reverend Goodwill Padmore should be charged with conspiracy to committing crime. Additionally Seidu should be held for murder. However, Issaka Mohammed, a farm labourer, who was arrested with the two, should be discharged because there was not enough evidence to link him with the death of the missionary.
The AG noted that there was enough evidence to sustain the charges of conspiracy and murder against Seidu and Padmore and asked the Police to take their statements to enable it prepare a bill of indictment and summary of evidence.
Initially three persons, Seidu, Padmore and Mohammed were arrested in connection with the murder of Reverend Barnes and put before a District Magistrate's Court in Accra. The pleas of the accused persons have been reserved.
The facts as presented before the Magistrate Court said the deceased, 75, arrived in the country in 1995. Seidu was a farm manager of the deceased, Padmore was the Principal of Prestige Secretarial and Business Academy in Koforidua while Mohammed is a resident of Adoagyiri in Nsawam.
The deceased established a Christian ministry, known as Cross Road Christian Missionary Incorporated in Koforidua.
Beside the missionary work, the deceased also had a farm at Akwamu, near Nsawam, which was managed by Seidu while his private secretarial institution was handled by Padmore. On December 27, 2009, the deceased went to the USA and he was to return to Ghana on March 18, 2010.
On March 17, Padmore gave Seidu some money to repair the vehicle of the deceased so that they could use it to bring him from the Airport to Koforidua the following day.
On March 18, Seidu after collecting GH¢50 for fuel left early in the morning saying he wanted to “do some rounds” before picking up the deceased in the evening.
At about 2330 hours, Seidu called Padmore on phone saying that the deceased had not arrived so he had driven the vehicle to Nsawam Adoagyiri. On March 19, a witness in the case detected that Seidu had sustained some injuries on both hands and when he was quizzed, he told the witness that he and a white friend were involved in an accident in Koforidua.
He indicated that the said white friend was receiving treatment at the Saint Joseph's Hospital in Koforidua. Seidu also went to a chemical shop for a tetanus injection and was asked to purchase the drugs but he did not return.
Seidu presented a laptop to a witness in the case and when it was switched on, the name of the deceased appeared on the screen.
The bag of the deceased was found in the vehicle being driven by the accused.
Following a report lodged with INTERPOL on the disappearance of the deceased, Seidu was arrested and handed over to the Homicide Unit for further investigations.
Seidu confessed to the crime and mentioned Padmore and Mohammed as his accomplices. On October 11, 2010 Seidu led a team of investigators from the Homicide unit and pathologists from the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to Akwamu Amanfo, near Nsawam Adoagyiri, where he identified the grave where the deceased was buried.
The body of the deceased was exhumed and conveyed to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Mortuary and on October 13, autopsy was carried out on the body.
The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital gave cause of the death of the missionary as multiple stab injuries and lacerations and haemorrhage.
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