JUST IN: It’s a criminal offence – Police ban Nigerians from taking dogs and other pets to polling units

The Nigeria Police Force has banned the use of dogs and other pets at polling units.

This ban which is coming on the heels of the Saturday gubernatorial and states Assembly elections across the 36 States of the federation follows reports that some electorate and groups planned to go to the polls on Saturday accompanied by their dogs as a form of protection against intimidation from political thugs and ballot box snatchers.

The Police which described the act as “criminal and condemnable” said, it 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.

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A statement signed by the Force Spokesperson, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi indicated that, “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.

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“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.

“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.”

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