The schemer was arrested by the police, in collaboration with his disgruntled family.
A 36-year old folk, Motakuri Marius, who announced his own death over a private radio station in Douala, was last Friday picked up by the police in a local night club, where he served as bouncer, at the Grand Hanger neighbourhood in Bonaberi. In connivance with a certain Manfred Okei, who posed as prison warden, Marius informed friends and relatives, three weeks ago, that he died, after a protracted illness, in an intensive prison barrack in the Littoral, and that his corpse was transported to a private mortuary in Douala
. Excerpt: “Mr. Manfred Okei, a senior chief warder in charge of prisoners’ welfare in the Littoral, announces, with deepest regret, the death of an inmate, Motakuri Marius, who died in an intensive prison barrack last week. Marius died after a protracted illness. The corpse which is currently lying at a private morgue in Douala should be collected by family members as soon as they get this announcement, else it will be handed to competent municipal authorities. The concerned should contact Chief Warder Manfred on telephone number xxx.”
The story shook Marius’ rural community in the South West Region. It was too hot for the deceased’s parents. Experts were brought in to break the news. Marius’ kith grieved and wailed. Marius abandoned his family, after he stole a neighbour’s cock, six years ago. A burial agenda was hastily scribbled. Three men were dispatched to trace the corpse. Others dug the grave. The three men, who saw a cosmopolitan settlement for the first time, reached Douala before sunrise. But, “Warder” Manfred’s telephone network was inconsistent. The callers called unrelentingly. Then, a hunky voice echoed at the other end. It was the “warder”, a sumptuously looking bald man, not much better than pigmies in height. The “warder” painstakingly greeted the men, and struggled to recount the death of Marius. But tears sealed his lips. “Warder” Manfred sank on his knees, and sobbed abundantly. Marius’ uncles begged and pampered him. But the “warder” wept on, whisking lumps of mucus from both nostrils. “Marius was too humble to die; he was a model to other prisoners” the “warder” murmured. From his pouch, Manfred pulled three stamped sheets; one was the late Marius’ death certificate, the second was the hospital bill, which summed up to FCFA 150,000 and the third the mortuary bill of FCFA 180,000. The “warder” also proposed a coffin worth FCFA 70,000 at the barrack. The sum of FCFA 400,000 was fumbled into his palms. In a flash, “Warder” Manfred jumped on the rear of a nearby bike, and never returned. Manfred and Marius reportedly lavished the booty at Bonaberi.