On May 2, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will appeal a judicial ruling that allows a case against the institution to proceed in U.S. courts. The case, brought by Eugene Nyambal, a former employee of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and an IMF whistleblower, contests a retaliatory action against Nyambal by an IMF contractor.
The IMF is appealing a February 12, 2014 ruling by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Sullivan denied a Motion for Reconsideration by the IMF of the July 13, 2013 court’s order challenging the institution’s assertion of absolute immunity from being sued in a U.S. court of law.
Nyambal asserts he had no protection from retaliation after exposing corruption in an extractive industry case involving Geovic, a Delaware and Cayman-Islands incorporated mining firm, and the government of Cameroon under an IMF-supported program. After the IMF terminated his employment for matters related to his whistleblowing, Nyambal sued the IMF in the U.S. District Court, alleging that the defendant’s retaliatory actions destroyed his career. The IMF attempted to invoke its legal immunity to escape liability, but the Court was unwilling to recognize such broad-brush protection in this case. Thereafter the IMF filed a Motion for Reconsideration.
The corrupt activity involving Geovic went forward with the blessing of then-IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss Kahn and continued under Christine Lagarde. Geovic, the firm that orchestrated the mining scheme, ultimately sold its mining concession in Cameroon to the Chinese government without actually initiating the project and without accounting for $60 million in oil windfall revenues earmarked under the IMF program for poverty reduction operations.
Geovic has no mining experience and no operating income over the 14-year life of the company (1995 – 2009). According to the firm’s financial reports filed with SEC in March 2014, Geovic is on the brink of bankruptcy. The IMF has failed to take action despite Nyambal’s warnings.
After the July 13, 2013 Court ruling challenging the IMF’s immunity, Nyambal was blacklisted at the World Bank at the Fund’s initiative. He was prevented from entering the World Bank’s premises without any notification and justification.
In response to Nyambal’s request for an Administrative Review, the World Bank indicated that “the IMF had asked the Bank to place Mr. Nyambal on the Bank’s ‘Do Not Admit’ list as maintained by Security … The Bank’s following up on a request from the IMF and the Panel’s mandate does not stretch to considering the IMF’s actions or decisions.” The IMF has refused to respond to Nyambal’s queries about the reasons for his blacklisting at the World Bank through Allied Barton, the security contractor working for both institutions.