Court adjourns case of missionary’s murder
An Accra District Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday adjourned the case involving three persons accused of murdering the Reverend Sidney Thomas Barnes, a British/American Missionary at Nsawam because the bill of indictment to commit them is not ready.
The police told the court presided over by Mr Samuel Kofi Ahiabor that they were waiting for the autopsy report from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
The prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Clement Abadamlora, prayed the court for a two-week adjournment to collect the autopsy report and prepare the bill of indictment for committal proceedings for the trial to commence at the High Court.
The accused persons, who were without counsel, were therefore escorted back to custody.
Kofi Seidu, a driver, Goodwill Padmore, a pastor and Issaka Mohammed, a mason, are charged with conspiracy to murder and murder.
The court, after reading out the charges and facts to the accused persons, did not take their pleas.
ASP Abadamlora had told the court earlier that the deceased, 75, arrived in the country in 1995.
The prosecutor said Seidu was also a farm manager of the deceased, while Padmore was the Principal of Prestige Secretarial and Business Academy in Koforidua, and Mohammed a resident of Adoagyiri in Nsawam.
ASP Abadamlora said the deceased established a Christian ministry, known as Cross Road Christian Missionary Incorporated, in Koforidua.
The prosecutor said beside the missionary work, the deceased also had a farm at Akwamu, near Nsawam, which was being managed by Seidu while his private secretarial institution was being handled by Padmore.
On December 27, 2009, ASP Abadamlora said, the deceased went to the USA and was to return to Ghana on March 18, this year.
On March 17, Padmore gave Seidu some money to repair the vehicle of the deceased so that they could use it to convey him from the Airport to Koforidua the following day.
ASP Abadamlora said on March 18, Seidu after collecting GH¢50 for fuel left early in the morning saying he wanted “do some rounds” before picking up the deceased in the evening.
At about 2330 hours, ASP Abadamlora said, Seidu called Padmore on phone saying that the deceased had not arrived so he had driven the vehicle to Nsawam Adoagyiri.
The prosecutor said 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.
The prosecutor said Seidu also went to a chemical shop for a tetanus injection and was asked to purchase the drugs but he did not return.
ASP Abadamlora said Seidu also 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 prosecutor said the bag of the deceased was found in the vehicle being driven by the accused.
ASP Abadamlora said 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.
“During investigations, Seidu confessed to the crime and mentioned Padmore and Mohammed as his accomplices.
On October 11, 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.
ASP Abadamlora said 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.
However, the pathologist is yet to submit his report.