THE three people arrested in connection with the murder of the British/American Missionary, Rev. Sidney Thomas Barnes, were yesterday arraigned before an Accra District Magistrate’s Court on provisional charge of conspiracy to commit murder and murder.
Their plea was not taken.
They are, Kofi Seidu, driver of the deceased, Rev. Goodwill Padmore, Principal of the Prestige Secretarial Computer School at Koforidua and Issaka Mohammed, a mason resident at Adoagyiri Nsawam, who were remanded in Police custody to appear again on November 2 when the committal proceedings will begin.
Presenting the facts of the case, Police prosecutor, Cletus Abadamlora told the court presided over by Samuel Kofi Ahiabor that the accused persons conspired to murder Rev. Barnes, 75 who had been resident in the country since 1997.
He said on December 27, 2009, Rev. Barnes went on leave to the USA and was to return to Ghana on March 18 this year.
He said on March 17, Rev. Padmore gave Seidu some money to enable him to repair an old Land Rover, which belonged to Rev. Barnes, so it could be used to pick the missionary from the Kotoka International Airport the following day.
Mr Abada mlora said in the morning of March 18, Seidu approached Rev. Padmore for GH¢50 to buy fuel for the trip.
Rev. Padmore enquired from Seidu why he was leaving so early for Accra when Rev. Barnes would be arriving at 10: pm.
Seidu replied that he wanted to make some rounds in Accra before picking the missionary in the night.
He said at about 11:30 pm that day Seidu called him (Padmore) on phone to inform him that Rev. Barnes had not arrived at the airport.
He said on March 19, Seidu went to Adoagyiri Nsawam, and a witness in the case detected that Seidu had some bruises on both hands and when he asked Seidu what caused the injuries, he said he was involved in accident when he was driving a white man to Koforidua, and that the white man had been admitted at the St. Joseph Hospital at Koforidua.
Mr. Abadamlora said Seidu contacted a chemical shop for tetanus injection, but the druggist said he did not have it.
On the same day, he said Seidu gave a laptop to someone to open for him and on boosting the laptop, the name of the deceased appeared on the screen, adding that a tourist bag believed to be the property of Rev. Barnes was found in the Land Rover and on enquiry, Seidu said that the bag belonged to a white friend.
Mr Abadamlora said the disappearance of Rev. Barnes was reported to the International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) at the Criminal Investigations Department and Seidu was subsequently apprehended and handed over to the Police Homicide Unit. On interrogation he confessed to the crime and mentioned Issaka and Rev. Padmore 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 of Rev. Barnes.
His body was exhumed and conveyed to the Korle-Bu Teaching hospital morgue.
He said an autopsy has been performed on the body but the Pathologist is yet to submit his findings.