A bipartisan group of 13 U.S. lawmakers and a human rights group are urging Nigeria to hand over ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor to a United Nations-backed court.

Both the lawmakers and the group Human Rights Watch have written separately to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is due to meet with Liberian President-elect Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on Thursday.

The groups said they hope Ms. Rice will urge the president-elect to press Nigeria for Mr. Taylor's transfer to the court. 

Mr. Taylor has lived in exile in Nigeria since 2003.  The U.N.-backed court in Sierra Leone wants him on war crimes charges. 

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has said he will only release Mr. Taylor to an elected Liberian government.

Some information for this report provided by AP.