Three days to the governorship and state House of Assembly elections, the police have cautioned Nigerians against the use of dogs and others pets at polling units.
“The Nigeria Police Force 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 Nigeria Police Force said in Tuesday in a statement by the Force spokesman, Chief Superintendent Olumuyiwa Adejobi.
“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 warning came on the heels of speculations that some persons are planning to hit polling units with their dogs and other pets as part of efforts to wade off thugs and other electoral offenders.
But the police said such plans are “unacceptable, stand discouraged, and remain an act of electoral infraction as it will cause harassment and intimidation.
“The Nigeria Police Force, 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”.