Ex-Kumul icon shot dead outside Moresby hotel

Main Stories, National

The National- Monday, February 7, 2011

 THE PNG sporting community is reeling from the death of rugby league legend Aquilla Emil, who was shot dead last Friday outside a Port Moresby hotel.

Emil’s killer, another well-known Papua New Guinean, who, until recently, was holding onto an important government office, remained at large.

Emil was gunned down with a pistol at close range at about 3am following an argument outside the Lamana Gold Club where both men had spent the evening.

Police claimed that the argument started when one of them collided with the other’s car outside the hotel.

NCD metropolitan superintendent Joseph Tondop confirmed the killing, saying police were carrying out investigations.

Aquila, 44, leaves behind his wife from Babaka village in Central with six children – three boys and three girls.

From Umbukul village in New Hanover, New Ireland, Aquila was, until his death, a development officer with the National Rugby League bid team.

Tondop said it was not known whether the killing was premeditated or they had been past stand-offs between “the suspect” and the deceased.

He said that it was also not known whether there were others involved in the killing of Emil, a former PNG Kumul player and rugby league icon.

The top police boss in NCD, while reluctant to give details of the activities of his men in relation to the incident, said they would track down the killer and have him questioned and arrested.  

“Police are aware of the incident and are taking it seriously. 

“Normal police process will be followed and, once all evidence relating to the killing are put together, police will make arrests,” Tondop said.   

He said from the gunshot wound, it looked like the deceased was shot with a pistol at close range. 

However, he could not disclose whether or not the firearm used in the killing was licensed to the suspect and whether or not the suspect was already in police custody for interrogation. 

Meanwhile, Port Moresby General Hospital accident and emergency coordinator Dr Sam Yokopua confirmed the death yesterday but said he would need to verify with his officers on duty last Friday morning to give a full report about the cause of death.