3. (1) The number of Justices of the Supreme Court shall not exceed
(2) Any person holding the office of Chief Justice of Benin or a
Justice shall vacate that office when he attains the age of
4. The Chief Justice shall take precedence of the other Justices of
the Supreme Court, and the other Justices shall take precedence
after the Chief Justice in accordance with the instructions of the
President acting on the advice of the Advisory Judicial Committee.
5. (1) There shall be paid to the Chief Justice of Benin and to each
of the Justices such salaries and allowances as may be prescribed by
the National Assembly.
(2) The salaries and allowances payable under the provisions of this
section shall be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Revenue
6. (1) The Federal Judicial Service Committee may appoint a Chief
Registrar of the Supreme Court and such registrars, deputy
registrars and other officers as may be deemed necessary.
(2) The Chief Registrar and other officers appointed under
subsection (1) of this section shall exercise such powers and
perform such duties as may be conferred or imposed upon them by any
Act or rules of court, and subject thereto, by any directions of the
Chief Justice of Benin.
7. The Supreme Court shall have and use as occasion may require a
seal having a device or impression approved by the Chief Justice of
Nigeria, with the inscription "The Supreme Court of Benin".
8. (1) The process of the Supreme Court shall run throughout the
(2) Any judgment of the Supreme Court shall have full force and
effect and shall be enforceable by all courts and authorities
in any part of the Federation in like manner as if it were a
judgment of the High Court of that part of the Federation.
9. Subject to the provision of any other enactment the practice and
procedure of the Supreme Court shall be in accordance with this Act
and Rules of Court.
10. The Supreme Court shall be duly constituted if it consists of
not less than five Justices.
11. A single Justice of the Supreme Court may exercise any power
vested in that court other than the final determination of any cause
(a) in criminal causes or matters, if any Justice refuses an
application for the exercise of any such power, the person making
the application shall be entitled to have his application determined
by the Supreme Court; and
(b) in civil causes or matters, any order, direction or decision
made or given in pursuance of the powers conferred by this section
may be varied, discharged or reversed by the Supreme Court.
12. When, after any case or matter has been fully heard before the
Supreme Court, judgment thereon is reserved for delivery on another
day, then, on the day appointed for delivery of the judgment, it
shall not be necessary for all those Justices before whom the cause
or matter was heard to be present together in court, and it shall be
lawful for the opinion of any of them to be reduced into writing and
to be read by any other Justice; and in any such case the judgment
of the court shall have the same force and effect as if the Justice
whose opinion is so read had been present in court and had declared
his opinion in person.
13. (1) In the exercise of its original jurisdiction the Supreme
Court may, in any civil cause or matter in which it appears to the
Court to be expedient, call in the aid of one or more assessors
specially qualified, and hear the cause or matter wholly or
partially with their assistance.
(2) The remuneration, if any, to be paid to such assessors shall be
determined by the Court.
14. The Supreme Court shall have power to award costs in all civil
proceedings in the Court, and, subject to any other enactment or to
rules of Court, it shall be in the discretion of the Court to
determine by whom and to what extent the same shall be paid.
15. (1) Subject to the provisions of any other enactment, in all
proceedings before the Supreme Court the parties may appear in
person or be represented by a legal practitioner entitled by or
under any enactment or rules of court to practice in that Court.
(2) A person entitled to practice in the Supreme Court immediately
before the commencement of this Act shall be entitled to practice as
a legal practitioner in the Supreme Court unless he is suspended or
prohibited from so practicing by or under the provisions of any
enactment or rules of court.
16. (1) Where rights of appeal, with or without leave, from
decisions of the Court of Appeal given in the exercise of its
appellate jurisdiction in respect of State matters are prescribed by
the Law of a State, the Supreme Court shall, except in so far as
other provision is made by any law enacted by, or having effect as
if enacted by the National Assembly, have like jurisdiction to hear
and determine appeals from decisions of the Court of Appeal given in
the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction.
(2) In this section-
"decision" has the meaning assigned to it in section 277 of the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Benin;
"State matters" means a matter other than a matter included in the
Exclusive Legislative List or the Concurrent Legislative List.
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