The Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Tuesday, announced the ban of pets, especially dogs, at polling units on election day, stating that such acts were contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, as amended.
Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, made the announcement in a press statement in Abuja.
“The NPF has deemed it necessary to educate and caution Nigerians on the use of pets, especially dogs, at the polling units on election day, as such act runs contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended.
“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 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 spokesperson, “The NPF, therefore, warns 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.”