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Elections: Police bar voters from taking dogs to polling units

The Nigeria Police Force has cautioned Nigerians against the use of dogs and others pets to polling units during Saturday’s governorship and state house of…

The Nigeria Police Force has cautioned Nigerians against the use of dogs and others pets to polling units during Saturday’s governorship and state house of assembly elections.

Based on the attack on voters in some parts of the country in last month’s elections, some persons had said they would take their dogs along to their voting points on Saturday.

But in a press release on Tuesday, Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, called on the public to desist from taking dogs and other pets to the 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 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 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,” the statement read.

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