A Malian fisherman who found the body of the late Bishop of Bafia, Jean-Marie Bénoit Bala, has been rewarded with FCFA 2 million ($3,545) by the Cameroonian government.
27-year-old Ali Aoudi Dienta who found the body two days after the bishop went missing in the Sanaga river was handed cash by the Governor of the Centre Region Naseri Paul Bea on Thursday, local media CamerounWeb reported.
Bishop Jean-Marie Bénoit Bala was reported missing on May 31 after leaving his residence in the evening. His car was later found on the bridge over the Sanaga river with a suspected suicide note that read: “Do not look for me, I’m in the water.”
His body was found by the fisherman floating downstream three days after a search was initiated.
The bishop’s death generated a lot of controversy as an earlier autopsy declared that he committed suicide by drowning was disputed by the Catholic Bishops Conference in Cameroon which says he was murdered.
Investigations are ongoing and there are reports of a possible second autopsy to bring the matter to a rest.