Born on December 1,1951, in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Dr. Christopher Ogbonnaya Onu obtained grade one with distinction in his West African School Certificate examination at Izzi High School, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. He also obtained distinctions in Physics and Chemistry at the Higher School Certificate examination at the College of Immaculate Conception, CIC, Enugu, graduating as the best overall student. By 1976, he graduated with First Class Honours degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Lagos. He later obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of California, UC Berkeley, California, USA, in 1980. He worked as a Research Staff and Consultant at the Engineering Research Center, Western Electric in New Jersey, USA. While in UC Berkeley, Dr. Onu was the President of the African Students Union; Member, Graduate Assembly of the University of California, Berkeley and President of the Nigerian Association of Northern California, Inc.
On return to Nigeria, he started lecturing as the pioneer Head, Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Port Harcourt, Acting Dean, Faculty of Engineering in 1985 and was also elected by Senate into the Governing Council of the University. In 1989, Dr. Onu served as a Directors of the Nigeria Cement Company, Nigercem, Nkalagu; Visitor of Abia State University, Uturu. He was the pioneer National President of the Raw Materials Society of Nigeria; Member, Pioneer Board of Governors of the Federal Government Raw Materials Research and Development Council.
In 1991, he was elected the first Governor of old Abia State. He commenced work on the establishment of a Technology Village and the introduction of computers into public schools. He was the first Chairman, Conference of Nigerian elected Governors. He was honoured with the Governor of the year (1992) award and also the Star Governor award. In 1999, he emerged the first Presidential Flagbearer of the then All Peoples Party, APP, now All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP. Presently, Dr. Onu is the National Chairman of ANPP. Dr. Onu has conducted research successfully into various Chemical Engineering. He has written many books and published journals. He is a member of the ancient and noble order of the Knights of St. John International, KSJ.
Dr. Onu is a COREN Registered Engineer, Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers and the Nigerian Society of Engineers.