Christ the King College, Onitsha

Christ the King College, Onitsha (CKC), popularly known as CKC Onitsha, or Amaka Boys, is an all-boys secondary school in Onitsha, Nigeria. It is ranked the number 1 (the best) high school in Nigeria and 36th in the top 100 best high schools in Africa as of February 2014. It was founded on February 2, 1933, by the late Archbishop Charles Heerey, CSSp, along with Fredrick Akpali Modebe and his wife Margret, who (like in the other schools they founded) not only provided the land, but also built the first administration block and the first hostel accommodation. Bishop Heerey remained the proprietor of the school until his death in the spring of 1967. The chief mission of the school is to develop indigenous manpower and leadership skills from the vast pool of Nigerian youths and in a Roman Catholic tradition and environment. The first principal of the college was Rev Fr. Leo Brolly and the first student to be admitted into the college was Peter Charles Obi Nwagbogu[2]

Christ the King College, Onitsha
Oguta Road, Onitsha
Former nameHeerey High School
TypePrivate Non-profit All-boys secondary education institution
MottoBonitas, Disciplina, Scientia (Latin)
Goodness, Discipline, Knowledge (English)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Established2 February 1933
FounderArchbishop Charles Heerey
HeadteacherRev. Fr. Charles Okwumuo
Number of students2,597[1][non-primary source needed]
Colour(s)Royal Blue   and   White


CKC was affected adversely by the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970). Most of its infrastructure was destroyed.[3] The school was taken over by the East Central State Government in 1973 and renamed "Heerey High School",[4] after its founder. However, following representations by its alumni, the school's name was changed back to its original name, "Christ The King College (CKC)" in 1976, and the pre-war first indigenous principal of the school, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Tagbo, was also brought back that year to reorganize, rebuild, and re-energize the school. CKC was finally returned to the Catholic Mission by the state government on 1 January 2009.[5]

The schoolEdit

CKC is located on Oguta Road in Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria. Its motto is Bonitas, Disciplina, Scientia (Latin) (Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge). As of February 2014, the school is currently ranked the number 1 (the best) high school in Nigeria, and 36th in the top 100 best secondary schools in Africa.[6] The school's colours are White and Royal Blue. The college has active alumni associations in Nigeria (Abuja, Benin-City, Enugu, Lagos, Onitsha, Owerri, and Port-Harcourt), and in the United States ("Christ the King College Onitsha Alumni Association USA").

School populationEdit

Throughout the years prior to the civil war, the school's population was pegged at 600 to ensure appropriate student/teacher ratio and high-quality education. After the civil war, in the 1970s, the student population ballooned to over 4,000. However, following years of reorganization, the school's student population is now 2,597, split between (Grades 7- 12); Junior Secondary School (1,350) and Senior Secondary School(1,247).[1][non-primary source needed]

Sporting and extra-curricular activitiesEdit

The school plays Association Football, track and field athletics, handball, hockey and lawn tennis. Its football (soccer) team won the World Secondary School Championship in Dublin, Ireland in 1977.[7]


The dormitories are classified as school houses for administration, management and sports competition purposes. The current houses are: Tagbo, Brolly, Azikiwe, Heerey, Okagbue, Modebe, Arinze, Aniogu, Mbanefo, Orjiakor, Allagoa, Butler, and Flanagan.

The pre-civil war Houses were: St. Charles, St. Gabriel, St Williams, St Michael's, and St. Joseph.

School publicationsEdit

List of principalsEdit

  • 1st Rev Fr. W.L. Brolly: 1933–1937
  • 2nd Rev. Fr. M Flanagan: 1938–1941
  • 3rd Rev. Fr J. Keane: 1942–1943
  • 4th Rev. Fr. A. Callaghan: 1943
  • 5th Rev. Fr. M. Flanagan: 1943–1948
  • 6th Rev. Fr. M. Clifford: 1949–1953
  • 7th Rev. Fr. W Butler: 1953–1954
  • 8th Rev. Fr. J. Keane: 1955–1956
  • 9th Rev. Fr. J. FitzPatrick: 1956–1963
  • 10th Rev. Fr. N. C. Tagbo: 1963–1972 (First indigenous principal)
  • 11th Chief A.A.O. Ezenwa: 1973–1974
  • 12th Rev. H. Chiwuzie: 1974–1975
  • 13th Mr. P. E. Ezeokeke: 1975–1976
  • 14th Rev. Fr. N.C. Tagbo: 1976–1985[10][non-primary source needed]
  • 15th Mr. M. N. Enemou: 1985–1987
  • 16th Rev. Dr. V. A. Nwosu: 1987–1996
  • 17th Mr. J.E. Chukwurah: 1996–1997
  • 18th Mr. E. C. Umeh: 1997–2000
  • 19th Chief N. E. Olisah: 2000–2008
  • 20th Chief A. Obika: 2008–2009
  • 21st Mr. E. Ezenduka: 2009–2010
  • 22nd Rev. Fr. Charles Okwumuo: 2010–2019
  • 23rd Rev. Fr. Dr. Celestine Arinze Okafor: 2019–present

Source: Honor Roll of CKC Principals, 1993–2011[11][non-primary source needed]

Notable alumniEdit

  • Olisa Agbakoba (b 29 May 1953) lawyer, former president of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, and human rights activist.[12]
  • Justice Anthony Aniagolu, justice of the supreme court of Nigeria and chairman of the 1988–89 Constituent Assembly[13]
  • Justice Chukwunweike Idigbe, Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria[14]
  • Chike Francis Ofodile, OFR (November 20, 1924 - August 3, 2014) former Attorney General and the Minister for Justice of Nigeria from (1985 - 1991) and former Judge of the International Court of Justice from (1984 - 1985). He was once the traditional Prime Minister of Onitsha
  • Gov. Peter Obi (b 19 July 1961) Former governor of Anambra State[15]
  • Gov. Willie Obiano (b 8 August 1955) Governor of Anambra State.
  • Archbishop Valerian M. Okeke (b 20 October 1953) Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Onitsha since 1 September 2003[16]
  • Dr. Pius N.C. Okigbo (6 February 1924 – 2000) economist from Ojoto[17]
  • John Munonye (April 1929 – 10 May 1999), one of the most prolific Nigerian literary writers of the 20th century, and author of The Only Son (African Writers Series) among many others.
  • Justice Chukwudifu Akunne Oputa (b 22 September 1924) (retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria), former Chairman of the Human Rights Violation and Investigation Commission (popularly called Oputa Panel)[18]
  • Prof. Patrick Utomi (b 6 February 1956) Founder Lagos Business School, African Democratic Congress presidential candidate (2007)[19]
  • Ezeolisa Allagoa (24 August 1914 – 17 February 2003) was traditional ruler of Nembe Kingdom
  • Dr. Peter Odili (15 August 1948) Former Executive Governor of Rivers State (1999-2007)
  • Ezeolisa Allagoa 1st Indigenous Chief Judge of Old Rivers State and Amanyanabo of Nembe[20]
  • Mr Oseloka H. Obaze, (b 9 April 1955) Diplomat, politician and author.[21][22]
  • Justice Peter N. C Umeadi, (b 4 July 1955), Jurist, Chief Judge of Anambra State.[23]
  • Arc. Frank Nwobuora MBANEFO, (1927-2015), Class of 1948, ( renown international Architect and one of the founding members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, of which he later became a Fellow and National President. He helped set-up the science and geography lab in CKC in 1948 and was the science tutor, before heading to England in 1950 to study architecture. He was member of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) and two-time Vice President - AFRICA of the CAA (Commonwealth Association of Architects) in 1963-1965, 1974-1977. He was an influential past national president of the CKC Alumni and worked closely with Principal Fr. Tagbo in improving CKC after the Biafran War.


  1. ^ a b "2011 STATE OF SCHOOL REPORT BY REV FR. DR. CHARLES OKWUMUO PRINCIPAL/MANAGER" (PDF). Christ the King College, Onitsha. 13 February 2011. p. 2. Retrieved 22 February 2012. At present, the students' population of C K C stands at two thousand five hundred and ninety seven (2,597). A breakdown of this figure shows that the population of Junior Secondary (JSS 1-3) is one thousand, three hundred and fifty (1,350) while that of Senior Secondary (SSI-3) is one thousand two hundred and forty seven (1,247). Out of total population of 2,597 students, 2079 are day students while 518 are boarders. The figure for boarders does not include 15 students who are special (Blind) students.
  2. ^ "Fr. Leo Brolly Founder of the TransCanada Province". Spiritan Missionary News. June 1993. Retrieved 16 February 2012. Fr Leo, in those early years, was mostly associated with Nigerian-Catholic education. He laid the foundation of Christ the King College, Onitsha, still one of the finest high schools in Nigeria. He was principal there until 1939 when he became pastor at Ahiara.
  3. ^ "CGI", SpringerReference, Springer-Verlag, 2011, doi:10.1007/springerreference_61782
  4. ^ Njoku, Raphael Chijioke; Yik, King (2017-03-16), "Onitsha Market Literature", Narrative, Identity, and Academic Community in Higher Education, Routledge, pp. 31–46, doi:10.4324/9781315627090-3, ISBN 978-1-315-62709-0
  5. ^ Ujumadu, Vincent (2 January 2009). " Nigeria: Anambra Returns 18 Mission Schools". Retrieved 16 February 2012. ANAMBRA State government has returned 18 secondary schools originally built by Churches to them as part of the state government's determination to strengthen its partnership with non-governmental organizations.
  6. ^ "100 Best Secondary schools in Africa". African Views. 11 January 2012. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  7. ^ "High School Football team". doi:10.31096/wua033-pls90b069. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ "The Amaka Gazette: A Journal of CKC-AAA, Inc" (PDF). 12 (July 2011). Christ the King College Onitsha Alumni Association In America. July 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2012. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ "AMAKA'S VOICE" (PDF). 5 (October–December 2011). 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2012. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ "Father Tagbo: A Profile In Service And Leadership" (PDF). C.K.C. Alumni Notes. Christ the King College, Onitsha. Retrieved 23 February 2012. Rev. Fr. Nicholas Chukwuemeka Tagbo, (a.k.a. Onye Isi), clergy, educationist, administrator, poet, and mentor, is an eminent alumnus of Christ the King College Onitsha, and a member of the CKC Class of ’49.
  11. ^ "HONOR ROLL CKC PRINCIPALS 1933 to 2011" (PDF). The Amaka Gazette. Christ the King College, Onitsha. 12: 31. July 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  12. ^ Adah, Augustine (30 May 2011). "Newswatch Magazine - In the News". Newswatch Publications. Retrieved 23 February 2012. Olisa Agbakoba, lawyer, former president of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, and human rights activist, 58, May 29
  13. ^ "Book Review: The Great Judge: Justice A. N. Aniagolu - Biography of Hon. Sir Justice Anthony Nnaemezie Aniagolu". KWENU. Archived from the original on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2012. In another breath, old boys of Government College Umuahia and Christ the King College, Onitsha will be thrilled to bits for different reasons about brief records of their World War II campuses. In fact, there will one day be a debate on who really produced Justice Aniagolu: "Amaka Boys" (CKC) or "Shining Ones" (GCU). I have the answer, but I do not intend to preempt the debate!
  14. ^ Okocha, Emma (22 December 2009). "The Supreme Court And the Nigeria's Election Industry…". Retrieved 20 February 2012. We shall end this sad piece, as we borrow from Justice Chike-Idigbe, the cerebral former Justice of the Supreme Court. Â A legal luminary who made an Upper Class Honors Degree in Law, at Kings College, London, in 1946. The first Nigerian to win the English Campbell Forster Prize for the best Paper in Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure.
  15. ^ "Governor Peter Onwubuasi Obi". Who's Who Profile. Africa Confidential. Retrieved 18 February 2012. Challenged Chris Ngige’s election as Governor of Anambra State, 2003; legal battles with Ngige, 2003-06; Governor, Anambra State, March 2006-November 06; impeached, November 2006; re-instated as Governor to finish original four-year tenure, June 2007.
  16. ^ "Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha. Nigeria". Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha. Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012. Secondary Education: Christ the King College, Onitsha (1967). His education was interrupted by a civil war in Nigeria (1967–1970). Through the inspiration of then Mons. Emmanuel Otteh (now Bishop of Issele-Uku) he became interested in becoming a Priest.
  17. ^ Mbanefo, Arthur C I (8–9 June 2001). "Vision and Policy in Nigerian Economics: The Legacy of Pius Okigbo" (PDF). Part 1, Memoirs and Tributes. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2012. Pius had laid a very good foundation for his higher education at Christ The King College, Onitsha where he had a most brilliant academic career
  18. ^ amgboye, Adelanwa (5 October 2010). "Justice Chukwudifu Akunne Oputa, an eminent jurist @ 86". Daily Trust. Retrieved 24 March 2012. Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, was named Chairman of the Human rights violations investigation commission (more popularly known as the Oputa panel) to investigate abuses during 15 years of military rule, which ended when President Obasanjo took office as elected president on 29 May 1999.
  19. ^ "Mr Patrick Utomi". Who's Who Profile. Africa Confidential. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  20. ^ Admin (2016-11-09). "ALLAGOA. (HRH) Justice Ambrose Ezeolisa". Biographical Legacy and Research Foundation. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  21. ^ "Obaze Publishes 'Prime Witness' on Buhari's First Year in Office - THISDAYLIVE". THISDAYLIVE. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-05-17
  22. ^ "CKC Onitsha Sends-Forth The 231 Strong Graduating Class Of 2016". Nigerian Voice. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  23. ^ "Christ The King College Onitsha Has Produced Three Governors in Nigeria (See Photos) - Opera News". Retrieved 2020-10-08.

External linksEdit