On Saturday during the gubernatorial and state assembly elections in Nigeria, animals, including dogs, are not allowed to be brought to the polling places.
On election day, Tuesday, the Nigeria Police Force forbade the use of animals, especially dogs, in polling places.
The presence of pets or dogs at the polling unit, according to the Police, is a violation of the Electoral Act of 2022, as amended.
It was learned that the Force Public Relations Officer, FPRO, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi’ declared in an Abuja statement issued on Tuesday that the act was criminal and condemnable because it violated the provisions of the new act.
The command in the statement explained 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.
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.
Therefore the police strongly warn Nigerians, ” to desist as such constitutes a violation of the electoral Act, 2022, as amended, and other extant laws.”