The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has stated that the use of pets, especially dogs, at the polling units on election day is prohibited and criminal, as such act runs contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended.
It said that the conceived ideas and plans by certain individuals, electorates, and groups of people to go to the polls accompanied by pets are unacceptable, stand discouraged, and remain an act of electoral infraction as it will cause harassment and intimidation.
According to the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the NPF deemed it necessary to educate and caution Nigerians on the matter as they go to the polls on Saturday, March 11, for the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
“The provision of Section 126 (1) of the Electoral Act. 2022, explains clearly those actions exhibited by electorates that constitute electoral breaches and are punishable under the law, and paragraph (f) mentions possession of weapons calculated to intimidate voters and electoral officers.
“Dogs could be classed as offensive weapons as their owners/handlers can use them to intimidate, harass and cause assault and bodily harm to others. The Dogs Act, CAP 55 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1958 as domesticated in various States, and other Criminal Laws in Nigeria are trite”, the statement further read.
The Force warned those who intend to display their pets, dogs specifically, for whatever purpose, at the polling units, to desist as such constitutes a violation of the electoral Act, 2022, as amended, and other extant laws.