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Bringing dogs, other pets to election polling units is a criminal offence — Police

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has sent message of warning to voters not to approach their election polling units with pets, affirming that it’s a criminal offence to do so.

The security agency has revealed that bringing pets to polling units in the March 11, governorship and national assembly elections.

This was revealed in a statement released by the force spokesperson, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi.

Adejobi said the force has seen needs to sensitize, educate and caution the people of the country on the use of pets especially dogs at the election polling units on the day of election.

He added that the act is a contravention of the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended.

He noted 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.

“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.”

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