Phibhion Nyuke

A SUSPECT in the US$1 million ABC Auction robbery, Phibhion Nyuke, has had his bail application rejected for the second time by the High Court.

Justice Lucy Mungwari stated that there were no changed circumstances that could warrant granting bail.

She reaffirmed the judge’s decision when Nyuke first appeared before Justice Manyangadze.

Despite Nyuke’s lawyer arguing for his client’s release, Justice Mungwari ruled that there was overwhelming evidence against him and the State’s case was strong.

The State alleges that Nyuke was at the robbery scene and was later found in possession of a firearm without a certificate.

He has a high risk of absconding due to the seriousness of the offence and the strength of the evidence against him.

His lawyer, Batanai Pesanai, said one of Nyuke’s alleged accomplices was removed from remand and he should be treated the same.

He said the matter had taken too long.

Allegations against Nyuke are that on October 6 last year, he went to Steward Bank’s Highlands branch with five accomplices.

They were armed with firearms, explosives and machetes.

They disarmed the security guard and took his phone and a 22 Special revolver, which was loaded with five rounds of ammunition.

It is alleged that they broke into the bank and took two Chubb safes and used a grinder to break one safe but found nothing.

The State said they broke into the manager’s office, looking for cash and other valuables, but found nothing of interest and left.

Two days later, it is alleged that Nyuke, in the company of his accomplices, went to ABC Auctions along Seke Road, on October 8, and robbed the auctioneers of US$1 million and jewellery worth US$50 000.

On October 13, detectives arrested Nyuke and managed to recover some of the stolen property and money.

They had earlier arrested one of his suspected accomplices, Osinege Zvomuya, who implicated Nyuke.

The State said Nyuke led to the recovery of a 9mm P1 pistol with a magazine of five rounds of ammunition, two loaded blank pistols, balaclavas and gloves. — HMetro

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