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Ahead of the March 11 Gubernatorial and National Assembly Elections, the Nigeria Police Force has warmed against the use of dogs and other pets at polling units across the nation. stating that the use of pets, especially, dogs, at the polling units on election day, is contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended.

This warning was contained in a statement signed by the force spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, and obtained by Tropic Reporters correspondent today, stating that 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.

He said 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, warned 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.