The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has warned Nigerians to avoid the use of animals at the various polling units during the March 11 governorship and State Assembly elections.
The police in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said pets such as dogs constitute offensive weapon and bringing them to polling units in election day contravenes 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 weapon 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”, Adejobi said.
The police noted that the conceived ideas and plans by certain people and groups of people to go to the polls accompanied by pets are unacceptable.
He said such an act should be discouraged, and remains an 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”, Adejobi added.