3, June 2017
The anxiety and consternation that marked the long search for the Bishop of Bafia has given way to sorrow and mourning. The Bishop’s lifeless body has been taken to the Yaoundé General Hospital Mortuary under tight security. The convoy that accompanied the deceased body from Ebebda arrived Yaoundé at about 1:11 pm amidst crowds that had assembled along the itinerary from Emana, through Etoudi, Santa Babara to the mortuary.
The Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie, Jean Baptiste Bokam and the Governor of the Centre Region, Naseri Paul Bea were part of the accompanying officials. The Governor said an autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death before the corpse will be handed over to the church.
The corpse of the missing Bishop was found on the third day of search operations coordinated by the National Fire Brigade. The lifeless body of the Bishop was spotted at the river bed at about 7:30 am by a Fisherman, and finally pulled out of the Sanaga River at about 11:00 am by a team of local fishermen, officers of the Navy and the National Fire Brigade that had been engaged in the research for more than 48 hours.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, Mgr Piorro Pioppo led special prayers at the river banks shortly after the corpse was brought out. After the prayer session, local traditional authorities perfumed customary rites. The body was spotted about 20 kilometers from the bridge at a portion of the river which is about one meter deep.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, Mgr Piorro Pioppo, the President of the Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, Mgr Samuel Kleda, the Archbishop of Yaoundé, Mgr Jean Mbarga, the driver of late Bishop and his security personnel all identified the corpse.
He was wearing a black shirt, a black trousers and black sandals. Officials on the scene said the body did not have any signs of physical injuries probably laying to rest hypothesis of a physical assault. Investigations are now underway to determine the cause of drowning of the 58 year old Bishop.