Onayli won the bronze medal in the 4 × 100 meters relay at the 1992 Olympic Games and in the 200 meters at the 1996 Olympic Games.
She also won the 1994 Commonwealth Games 100 metres title.
She has also won a total of 7 individual medals in the short sprints at the All Africa Games at various times.
Her consecutive Olympic appearances from 1988 to 2004 made her the first Nigerian to compete at five Olympics. This feat was equalled by table tennis players Bose Kaffo and Segun Toriola four years later in Beijing, PR China.
Before her appointment, Onyali had served as the Special Adviser (Technical) to the Director General of the National Sports Commission in Nigeria, and was a part of the consultation committee for the proposed Sports University of Nigeria, Idumuje-Ugboko.