The Nigeria Police Force has revealed that the use of pets, particularly dogs, at polling units on election day is highly prohibited under the provisions of the Election Act, 2022, as amended.
The Nigeria Police Force in a statement made public on Tuesday declared that it is vital to inform and warn Nigerians about this practice.
In NPF’s opinion, the Election Act of 2022, Section 126 (1), outlines in clear terms the behaviors of electorates that constitute electoral violations and are therefore illegal and subject to punishment.
The Nigerian Force emphasized that the possession of weapons aimed at intimidating voters and election officials is mentioned in paragraph (f), and it added that dogs may be considered offensive weapons because their owners or handlers may use them to terrorise, harass, assault, or cause bodily harm to others.
Other warnings from NPF were issued to individuals, electorates, and certain groups of people who had made preparations to come vote with their pets, stressing that such behavior was inappropriate.
According to the Police, bringing dogs and other pets to the polling units is still an electoral offense because it will result in harassment and intimidation.
Dear Dog Owners, on Election day, come out with your dogs to your various polling Units and be on guard. ????????
Let's see how they will snatch ballot box this time around.
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— B.O.D (@Bod_Republiq) March 5, 2023
The Nigeria Police Force consequently issued a warning to anyone planning to display their pets—specifically dogs—for whatever reason at the polling units, noting that doing so would be against the election act of 2022, as modified, and other existing laws.