It is “unacceptable” for operatives of the National Security Secretariat to have “recklessly invaded” the offices of local software developer SOFTtribe in the Rambo-style manner that they did on Monday, 25th November 2019, former President John Mahama has said.
During the raid, the armed National Security operatives confiscated mobile phones of SOFTtribe’s staff, as part of a move to secure the billing software of the Ghana Water Company Limited, which, allegedly, had been held to ransom by the local IT giant after GWCL served notice that it intended ending a contractual agreement signed with the firm since 2016.
The Technical Director of SOFTtribe, Mr David Kwamena Bolton told Accra-based Joy FM in an interview that the men, who claimed they were National Security operatives, said they acted upon a court order which he alleged was unsigned and unsealed.
“They confiscated all our phones”, Mr Bolton said, adding: “Initially, they wanted to take our laptops then they decided not to take them”.
“So, currently, none of our technical staff or directors is with phones and we can’t operate as a company”, he told Daniel Dadzie on Tuesday, 26 November 2019.
According to him, one of the company’s technical staff has been detained “and taken to the Ghana Water Company head office.”
SOFTtribe is founded by Mr Herman Kojo Chinery-Hesse, a celebrated African technologist.
Speaking on the matter, Mr Mahama said: “I associate with the justifiable outrage expressed by many Ghanaians this morning upon receiving news of a rambo-style raid on the offices of SOFTtribe”.
He said: “We all join in condemning the reckless invasion of their premises, and the seizure of electronic equipment including mobile phones of staff.
“Regardless of what disagreements may exist between SOFTtribe and the Ghana Water Company Limited, the forceful entry into their offices by armed National Security operatives is unacceptable.
“Over the years, SOFTtribe has proven to be a leader of local content innovation in IT. They are one of the indigenous companies that have introduced various digital solutions and impacted positively on payroll management and crime prevention among others. And, their footprints stretch beyond Ghana.
“Recent events appear to confirm our worst fears that the Nana Addo administration is determined to use the national security machinery to not only intimidate Ghanaians, but to whittle away our hard-won rights guaranteed under the constitution of our Republic”.